Private equity firm Kelso & Co. LP is acquiring a majority share in rigid packaging distributor C.L. Smith Co. of St. Louis and its Lyons Blow Molding Inc. unit.
Lyons, an extrusion blow molder, produces custom and stock bottles of high density polyethylene for markets including medical, personal care, food, oil, biotechnology, and household and industrial chemicals. The company has estimated annual sales of $7.5 million, according to Plastics News' November ranking.
The company has 18 production lines at two plants located one block from each other in Berkeley, Mo. One plant, with 73,000 square feet of space, is accredited under the Global Food Safety Initiative.
P&M Corporate Finance LLC served as financial adviser to C.L. Smith.
New York-based Kelso, along with affiliated funds, acquired its share from owner Nancy Smith. She and C.L. Smith's management will invest "significant proceeds in connection with the transaction," the companies said in a news release.
C.L. Smith President and CEO Sarah Macdonald said in November that the company was seeking acquisitions or partnerships. The company specifically said it was interested in procuring another packaging distributor and another manufacturing location for Lyons.
Now, "we are pleased to welcome an experienced investment partner who shares our vision for the expansion of the company into a national packaging provider," she said in the May 4 release.
Kelso said it will be expanding C.L. Smith's product offerings and geographic reach. Kelso also said it will be combining C.L. Smith with another recent investment, Inmark Inc., an Austell, Ga.-based distributor of life sciences packaging and rigid containers.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Inmark developed a system for the deep-freeze shipping and storage conditions necessary for vaccines. Kelso obtained a majority interest in Inmark in December.