The US rigid packaging firm said it hopes to “acquire in excess of 99.99 per cent” of Pliant stock when the company emerges from bankrupt. Earlier this month, a reorganisation plan agreed by the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, Pliant and its associate Apollo Management confirmed Berry would be entitled to 25 per cent of Pliant’s common equity. But the Indiana-based company decided to bid for an entire buyout.
End of 2009
Ira Boots, chairman and CEO of Berry Plastics, said: "Pliant Corporation brings to Berry an important group of customers, employees, manufacturing locations and products. Their film product line enhances Berry's current offering with innovation and broader market appeal. Berry's rigid plastic packaging offering will be extended with the addition of Pliant's flexible packaging. With Berry acquiring Pliant, customers will be better served with a financially strengthened full service company."
Berry said it is currently investigating how to fund the equity deal but did not reveal any financial details. Whatever the financial solution, Pliant will remain separately capitalized as an unrestricted subsidiary of Berry, added a company statement. The company said it expects to close the deal by the end of the year.
Pliant Corporation is producer of value-added film and flexible packaging products for the food, agricultural, medical, personal care and industrial sectors. It presently operates 18 manufacturing facilities across the world, and employs approximately 2,900 people with annual net sales of $1.1 billion for the year ended December 31, 2008.
Berry Plastics produces and markets a range plastic packaging, including open top and closed top packaging, polyethylene-based plastic films, industrial tapes, medical specialties, packaging, heat-shrinkable coatings, specialty laminates, and FIBCs. The company's 13,000 plus customers range from large multinational corporations to small local businesses, it said in a statement. Berry has 66 manufacturing facilities worldwide and nearly 13,400 employees.
The company cautioned the deal was s subject to the usual financing and customary regulatory approvals. An affiliate of Apollo Management remains obligated to fulfil its obligations under the reorganisation plan should these conditions not be met.