| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Buyout firm Odyssey Investment Partners LLC is exploring a sale of Ranpak Corp that could value the company, one of the world's largest producers of protective paper packaging materials, at close to $1 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.
Odyssey has hired investment banks Barclays Plc (BARC.L) and Harris Williams & Co to run an auction for Ranpak, the people said this week. Ranpak has annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of around $90 million, some of the people added.
The people asked not to be identified because the process is not public. Odyssey and Barclays declined to comment, while Ranpak and Harris Williams representatives did not respond to requests for comment.
Founded in 1972, Ranpak makes paper packaging products that protect and cushion items during shipping. It serves a variety of industries, including the industrial, automotive, medical, consumer products and technology sectors.
Odyssey acquired the Concord Township, Ohio-based company in 2008 from American Capital Strategies Ltd ACAS.O. The purchase price was not disclosed at the time, but Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, a law firm that advised American Capital on the transaction, currently has the price tag of that deal on its website as $410 million.
A sale of Ranpak would be the latest in a wave of deals in the industrial and consumer packaging sectors as a modest economic recovery spurs private equity firms to seek out companies in this area with strong cash flows and high barriers to entry.
Platinum Equity LLC is exploring the sale of BWAY Corp, one of the largest makers of rigid metal and plastic containers in North America, for around $2 billion, while the Jordan Company is considering the sale of packaging equipment maker Pro Mach Inc for close to $1 billion, Reuters reported last month.
(Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis and Soyoung Kim in New York)