The deal for the stake in the £170m-turnover group was announced this morning by Sun European Partners, the European arm of US-based Sun Capital which has recently bought businesses including Britton Group, Albéa, Kobusch-Sengewald and Rexam’s personal care business.
Financial details of today’s deal and the exact size of the stake bought by Sun have not been made public, although Tony Lennon, who founded Paragon in 1994, will remain as an investor in the business and as an advisor to the existing management team.
Previously, Paragon was owned 51% by management, 34% by Equistone Partners Europe and 15% by LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyd’s Bank.
Paragon is the UK’s biggest label printer and is a key supplier to the private label sector with customers including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda M&S and more.
The deal comes after a period of growth for Paragon; developments in recent years have included the acquisition of the old Sessions of York labels business and Skanem’s Newcastle facility as well as the construction of a new non-food labels facility.
Philippe Neuschaefer, vice president at Sun European Partners, described Paragon as “an excellent business with an impressive management team”.
“Through our extensive packaging and retail expertise and know-how, we are looking forward to helping Paragon expand its leading position in the labelling market and establish itself even further in the areas of film and lined board to create a diversified industry champion,” he added.
Mark Lapping has been appointed as chief executive of Paragon following the deal.
He said: “We at Paragon are looking forward to working with the team at Sun European Partners to further build on our market leading position.
“We have exciting plans to develop the business in our existing and new product sectors as well as through further acquisitions.”
For Sun Capital, the deal marks a major addition to its growing portfolio of packaging busineses, which now have total turnover of more than €3bn.
The group has bought more some 34 companies across the world in the packaging and its businesses include beauty packaging group Albéa, rigids group Paccor and flexibles multinational The Britton Group.
In a separate announcement this morning, Sun Capital revealed that its deal to acquire Rexam’s Personal and Home Care packaging business for $459m has completed.