Sonoco (NYSE:SON), one of the largest diversified global packaging companies, announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire 100 percent of the stock of Clear Lam Packaging, Inc., a family-held developer and manufacturer of flexible and forming plastic packaging films for approximately $170 million in cash. The transaction is subject to normal regulatory review and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2017.
Founded in 1969, the Elk Grove Village, Ill.-based company is projecting 2017 sales of approximately $140 million and operates state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Elk Grove Village and Nanjing, China, with nearly 400 employees. Clear Lam is a technology leader in the development, production and conversion of high barrier flexible and forming films used to package a variety of products for consumer packaged goods companies, retailers and other industrial manufacturers, with a focus on structures used for perishable foods. Clear Lam serves markets including condiments, dairy, meats and cheese, produce, confection, fresh and prepared foods, nuts and snacks, food service and personal care.
According to Jack Sanders, Sonoco president and chief executive officer, the acquisition of Clear Lam will further build on Sonoco's strategy of expanding its global Flexible Packaging and Thermoforming Plastics operations to provide offerings serving the fast-growing perimeter of grocery and retail food stores.
"The addition of Clear Lam will significantly expand our Flexible Packaging and Thermoforming Plastics operations as we will be able to develop, produce and convert high barrier flexible and forming film structures to package fresh and prepared food products purchased in the growing store perimeter," said Sanders. "As an example, Clear Lam complements our recent acquisition of Peninsula Packaging's thermoforming operations by being able to produce barrier flexible film lidding that extends shelf life, is resealable and provides a complete packaging solution to our fresh fruit and vegetable customers."
Concerning the acquisition, Clear Lam Packaging President James Sanfilippo said, "We are excited to become part of the Sonoco family. I see the two companies with similar cultures, focused on building strong relationships with employees, customers and suppliers. Innovation has always been a driving force within Clear Lam and Sonoco, and it will continue to be a foundation for further growth."
Sonoco Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Rob Tiede said the addition of Clear Lam provides significant technology advantages as well as being able to drive synergies through the internalization of materials for Sonoco's existing flexible and thermoforming customers.
"What attracted us to Clear Lam was its reputation for driving high-barrier film packaging innovations to meet changing consumer needs. We're especially interested in opportunities to leverage their expertise in modified atmosphere packaging, which comes from a strong base of material science knowledge when it comes to films, additives and adhesives," said Tiede. "Additionally, in recent years, Clear Lam has developed new portion control condiment packaging, peel-reseal films for fresh fruits and vegetables, forming films for healthy yogurts, lidding films for fresh guacamole, special drinking pouch films and several new packaging films that expand shelf life."
Rothschild & Co. acted as exclusive financial advisor to Clear Lam on this transaction.