Investment firm PPC Partners is acquiring plastics sheet giant Plaskolite LLC from a unit of Charlesbank Capital Partners for an undisclosed price.
In a Nov. 9 phone interview, Plaskolite CEO Mitch Grindley said that although Charlesbank had been “a great partner” for his firm, sharing ownership with Chicago-based PPC “works better” for Plaskolite since both firms are family owned. PPC is majority-owned by the Pritzker family, including J.B. Pritzker, who was elected governor of Illinois on Nov. 6.
Plaskolite has enjoyed rapid growth, making 16 acquisitions in the last 11 years. Most recently, in June the firm bought the profile lighting business of Rotuba Extruders Inc.
Grindley said Plaskolite will continue to look for acquisitions while working with PPC.
Plaskolite's management team will continue to lead the business, which has annual sales of more than $550 million. The transaction is expected to close in December.
The Dunn family, who founded Plaskolite in 1950, and Plaskolite's management team will retain stakes in the Columbus, Ohio-based company.
Plaskolite makes acrylic, polycarbonate and glycol-modified PET sheet for a wide range of applications, including windows, doors, lighting, signs, point-of-purchase displays and bath products. The firm serves a diverse customer base including distributors, OEMs and retailers.
PPC investment partner Michael Nelson said Nov. 9 that his firm was investing in Plaskolite because of its “world-class, very experienced management team and unique, family-oriented structure.”
He added that Plaskolite “is the clear market leader, and the only sheet producer that offers all the major substrates, including polycarbonate, acrylic and PETG.” Nelson also said that Plaskolite “has a number of terrific growth prospects.”
The Plaskolite deal is far from PPC's first foray into plastics. The firm also owns flexible packaging giant ProAmpac of Cincinnati and rigid packaging maker Technimark LLC of Asheboro, N.C.
In a news release, PPC Chairman and CEO Tony Pritzker said that his firm “is delighted to partner with the Dunn family and management for the next phase of growth at Plaskolite.” William Blair & Co. acted as financial adviser to PPC Partners.
Plaskolite ranked No. 17 in the most recent Plastics News ranking of North American film and sheet manufacturers, with estimated 2017 sales of $540 million. Grindley said the company this year has experienced sales growth of around 5 percent, thanks to strong results in security products, as well as in the LED and signage markets. He said the firm should be able to match or exceed 5 percent growth in 2019.