EUROPE – Graphic Packaging, has agreed to acquire AR Packaging, a producer of fiber-based consumer packaging in Europe, from CVC Funds for approximately US$1.45 billion.

The US-based designer and manufacturer of packaging solutions said the acquisition will expand its geographic reach, innovation capabilities, and value for customers throughout Europe and bordering regions.

AR Packaging operates 30 factories across 13 countries with 5,500 employees, and is described as Europe’s second largest producer of fibre-based consumer packaging.

The company manufactures a range of products – including folding cartons, trays, cups, pouches, lidding films and flexible materials.

The products are mainly for food and beverages such as confectionery, dried food, coffee and tea, fresh and chilled food, frozen food, as well as food service.

In addition, AR Packaging serves the beauty, tobacco, medical and pharmaceutical markets.

“AR Packaging is a leader in the attractive and growing market for sustainable packaging in Europe,” said Michael Doss, Graphic Packaging’s president and CEO.

“Acquiring AR Packaging will result in significant value creation opportunities for our customers, our employees, and our stockholders as we bring together two leading providers of fibre-based consumer packaging solutions with long histories of innovation and creative packaging design.”

The acquisition is expected to add US$1.1 billion in annual sales and US$160 million in adjusted EBITDA, as well as drive total synergies of $40 million in the 36 months after it closes.

The deal comes after Graphic Packaging’s acquisition of Americraft Carton, a leading producer of paperboard products and folding, for US$280 million.

AR Packaging’s president and CEO, Harald Schulz, said: “Graphic Packaging’s shared approach to customer service and deep focus on providing innovative, sustainable solutions closely aligns with how we operate our own business, making them an ideal partner.

“The ability to leverage beneficial value chain integration, from paperboard manufacturing to carton converting, provides increased possibilities to offer sustainably optimised solutions to our customers.”

Earlier this year, AR Packaging purchased folding carton manufacturer Firstan Holdings, broadening its offering to the UK food and healthcare customers.

This strategic move makes the Group a key multi-category provider of folding cartons, flexibles and fibre-based containers in the UK.

The transaction – which is subject to customary conditions – is expected to close in four to six months.

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