To go public, or to sell to a strategic acquirer? That was the conundrum confronting Clayton, Dubilier & Rice in recent weeks with regard to portfolio company Mauser Group, a Dutch provider of packaging products. While the company was set to price its IPO this week, reports never ceased that CD&R was in conversations about a potential sale.
Now the story has reached the end of its winding road, as private equity investor Stone Canyon Industries has agreed to use its BWAY subsidiary to purchase Mauser in an all-cash transaction valued at $2.3 billion. Mauser was set to establish a market cap of about $1 billion in its IPO, but the company also carried €1.3 billion in total debt as of the end of 3Q 2016. Stone Canyon has owned BWAY since buying the packaging business from Platinum Equity last August for $2.4 billion.
The deal marks the second time in two weeks that a company set to go public has instead opted for acquisition; AppDynamicspassed on an IPO in late January, agreeing to a $3.7 billion purchase by Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO). Perhaps one shouldn’t read too much into only two data points, but the pair of pulled offerings surely aren’t a good sign for the health of an IPO market hoping to bounce back from a dry 2016.