Ring Container Technologies Corp., one of North America's largest blow molded container makers, is selling to an investment firm backed by Michael Dell.
Ring, with annual sales of more than $300 million, makes high density polyethylene and PET bottles for food service, retail food and other markets.
The seller is Carl Ring, who received the lifetime achievement award from the Blow Molding division of Society of Plastics Engineers in 2013. The buyer is MSD Partners LP, an investment adviser created by the principals of MSD Capital to allow investors to take part in strategies developed by MSD Capital, a private investment firm that exclusively manages investments for Dell Inc. founder Michael Dell and his family.
Terms were not disclosed.
The deal includes manufacturing sites in 17 cities in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. In addition to blow molder Ring Container, the transaction also includes Rapac LP, described as the largest expanded polystyrene recycler in the United States. Rapac also makes engineered resins.
“Throughout the due diligence process, we maintained a commitment to identifying a new, long-term owner who appreciated Ring's culture and other qualities that have been fundamental to our growth into an industry leader,” Chairman Carl Ring said in a statement. “MSD Partners not only is an organization that we respect, but also it is a seamless fit with our culture and the best possible owner to move our company forward.”
Rick Weil, managing director of investment banking at Mesirow Financial Inc. in Chicago, was not surprised Ring was sold. But, he added, the new owners were unexpected.
“It's interesting to see. Ring is one of the leaders in the industry. And I'm not surprised it attracted the attention and investment from somebody like Michael Dell and their entity,” Weil said.
“But I think that what's surprising to me is that someone like Michael Dell, who is known as a Renaissance man and is known for groundbreaking technology in its time, has chosen to park money, and not a small amount of money, into the blow molding industry,” he said.
“I'm sure they see a quality company, one that can be built upon with further acquisitions,” he continued.
Weil said it is striking to see someone outside the industry so associated with high-tech set sights on a middle-market company like Ring.