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Published: Thursday, 4/14/2011

Silgan to acquire Graham Packaging in $4.1 billion deal

BLADE STAFF AND NEWS SERVICES

NEW YORK — Consumer packaging maker Silgan Holdings Inc. said Wednesday it will acquire Graham Packaging Co. in a $4.1 billion deal that includes cash and stock valued at $1.28 billion and assumption of debt.

The firms say the deal will save on costs and create a stronger force in packaging for beverage, food, and consumer products ranging from sports drinks and beer to personal-care products and motor oil.

It was unclear from the two companies what impact the acquisition would have on their northwest Ohio operations.

Silgan owns factories that produce plastic containers in Ottawa and Port Clinton as well as a metal food container plant in Napoleon. A spokesman for Silgan Holdings could not be reached for comment.

Graham, which purchased plastic packaging assets from Owens-Illinois Inc. in 2004, operates plants in Delta, Fremont, and Findlay. A spokesman said the company would not disclose how many employees it had in local plants or make any further comment beyond its statement.

Silgan said that after the deal it will have 17,000 employees and 180 manufacturing plants in 19 countries. It expects the combined company will achieve $50 million in cost savings by the third year after the sale closes.

Graham is based in York, Pa., and makes plastic containers for juices, sport, and yogurt drinks, nutritional supplements, condiments, dressings, and beers. It also makes quart bottles for motor oil. Silgan makes containers for food and drinks and personal-care products, with a specialty in metal cans.

The boards of both companies have approved the deal. Investment firm Blackstone Capital Partners and the Graham family, which own a combined 65 percent of Graham shares, will vote for the deal.

The companies expect the sale to close in the third quarter if regulators and shareholders approve.

Silgan is offering 0.402 shares and $4.75 in cash for each Graham share, valuing the company at $19.56 a share.

That's a premium of 17.1 percent to Tuesday's closing price.



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