Mid Oaks Investments and Gallagher Enterprises have completed their $568 million sale of Liquid Container to The Blackstone Group-backed Graham Packaging (NYSE: GRM). Liquid Container manufactures stock and custom plastic packaging solutions and had been backed by Mid Oaks and Gallagher since 1990. Blackstone has backed Graham since a 1998 buyout and took the company public in a $166.7 million IPO in February 2010.
Since the beginning of 2007, 93 companies in the Containers & Packaging industry have been involved in PE deals, according to the PitchBook Platform. Deal activity in the industry has made a strong recovery this year from last year's 14 deals. So far in 2010, 19 deals have been completed and two more are announced and waiting to be wrapped, and although 2010 YTD's deal count is still only half of the 39 logged during 2007, 2010 is just one completed deal away from matching 2008's total deal flow. Companies engaged in Plastic Packaging have been the prime target of these deals, accounting for 42.6% of the industry's deals. The second most popular sector with PE investors has been Paper Packaging with 20.2%. Of all the PE investors who have invested in the industry since the beginning of 2007, the most active include Graham Partners with 5 deals and Sun Capital Partners, Apollo Global Management, Irving Place Capital and Spell Capital Partners, each with 4 deals.