Graphic Packaging Corporation and the owners of Altivity Packaging, LLC announced today that they have signed a definitive agreement to combine the two companies. The transaction is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2007, subject to customary shareholder and regulatory approvals.
The transaction will bring together two of the most innovative, value-added paperboard packaging companies to create an estimated $4.4 billion (combined revenue) participant in the global packaging market.
The transaction has been approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies. Affiliates of TPG Capital, who control and own the majority of Altivity Packaging, have agreed to the transaction, and Graphic Packaging's three largest shareholders, who on a combined basis control more than 60 percent of Graphic Packaging's outstanding common stock, have agreed to vote in favor of the merger.
The new company will be called Graphic Packaging Holding Company and will trade under the NYSE ticker symbol "GPK."
The new company has significantly expanded product offerings, market reach, and technology capabilities and expects to have 47 folding carton facilities, 12 multi-wall and specialty bag facilities, 10 paperboard mills, six flexible packaging facilities, three label facilities and three packaging machinery manufacturing facilities worldwide. The company also includes Handschy Industries, which has five ink manufacturing facilities.
David W. Scheible, Graphic Packaging's president and CEO, will serve as the president, CEO, and member of the Board of Directors of the new company, while George Bayly, Altivity Packaging's chairman and interim CEO, will also join the new company's Board of Directors. The new company will be based in Marietta, GA, and will retain a significant presence in Chicago, IL, where Altivity Packaging is currently headquartered.
"Our two companies share similar operating philosophies, including an unwavering commitment to serving our customers with innovative products and solutions," said Mr. Scheible. "Our focus on continuous improvement will greatly enhance our integration activities, help us achieve our cost savings and merger synergy targets and drive superior results. The new company will benefit from strong positions in multiple packaging sectors including paperboard, folding carton, multi-wall and specialty bags, flexible packaging and labels, positioning us to provide our customers greater choice, better service, higher quality and more innovative solutions for all of their packaging needs. Furthermore, this merger will expand the breadth and diversity of our combined customer bases, improve our service to key national accounts, and improve access to the regional and specialty customer segments."
"This merger brings together two companies that are highly respected leaders in the packaging industry," said Mr. Bayly. "Together, the new company will serve a more diversified customer base and achieve economies of scale and operating efficiencies that would be more difficult to achieve on a stand- alone basis. Under David's leadership, I am confident in our collective ability to achieve our original cost savings and growth objectives, to realize substantial merger synergies, and to better serve our customers and employees who represent the future of our new company."