CORRECTED-Sun Capital to merge five of its plastic packaging businesses

Wed May 1, 2013 5:39pm EDT

(Corrects spelling of company to Paccor from Paccar in the second paragraph)

By Michael Erman

NEW YORK May 1 (Reuters) - Private equity firm Sun Capital Partners plans to merge five of its plastic packaging portfolio companies to form what it says will be the sixth-largest plastic packaging company in the world.

The new company, which will be called Exopack Holdings Sarl, will be created by merging its Exopack, Kobusch, Britton, Paragon and Paccor businesses, the company said in a filing with U.S. regulators on Wednesday.

The combined revenue of all the companies was around $2.5 billion in 2012, Exopack said. The deal will generate annual savings of around $65 million from efficiencies generated in its back office, manufacturing and global procurement operations, it said.

The companies had around $255 million in total EBITDA last year, Jack Knott, who will be chief executive of the new Exopack, said in an interview. That would translate to around $319 million after the cost savings, he said.

"This gives us a lot of optionality that we didn't have before," Knott said. "It gives us optionality to continue to grow through acquisitions in different geographies and different market segments. It gives us optionality to continue to invest in organic growth, which we've done quite well in."

Knott said the larger company will also give it more options in raising capital for the new company.

The deal will combine packaging businesses with operations in Europe and the Middle East with Exopack, which was previously focused on North America. It will create a company with 63 plants and 8,650 employees

The new Exopack will be based in Luxembourg.

Knott expects the extended geographic reach will help it with its largest customers, who include global companies such as Procter & Gamble Co and Unilever Plc.

Sun Capital bought Exopack in 2005 and picked up the other four companies over the last three years.

Scott Edwards, a Sun Capital managing director, said the move should help the private equity firm's eventual exit from the business.

"Size in this industry is very helpful. It certainly enhances exit possibilities no matter what route you want to take," he said.

The merger is subject to Exopack receiving amendments to its term loan and another facility from GE Capital. (Reporting By Michael Erman. Editing by Andre Grenon)

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