Graphic Packaging completes Contego food arm acquisition

Graphic Packaging completed its £81m acquisition of Contego’s food cartons business on Christmas Eve.

The deal, which was first announced in November, will see four Contego facilities – in Leeds and Gillingham in the UK, Hoogerheide in the Netherlands and Portlaiose in Ireland – transfer to the US-based cartons giant.

It then came under scrutiny from the Office of Fair Trading but was given the green light to go ahead in mid-December.

The deal will give Graphic Packaging a strong foothold in the European food cartons sector to complement its position in the beverage cartons arena, where it has also been expanding; just two weeks after announced the Contego deal, Graphic bought A&R Carton’s European beer and beverage packaging business.

For Contego, meanwhile, the completion of the deal will allow the company to concentrate on its pharmaceutical packaging business, where it has invested heavily since it was bought by Platinum Equity in early 2011.

Corporate finance advisors Moorgate Capital advised on the sale. Nicholas Mockett of Moorgate told PN: “The acquisition of Contego Cartons by Graphic Packaging and the recently announced acquisition of the beverages business from A&R shows that trans Atlantic acquisitions are very much on the cards in the packaging industry. We should expect to see more of this type of M&A activity.”