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Graham Packaging acquired, set to go public

Dallas-based Hicks Acquisition Co. I Inc has announced that it will partner with the Blackstone Group and take York...


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July 7, 2008 by Canadian Plastics

Dallas-based Hicks Acquisition Co. I Inc has announced that it will partner with the Blackstone Group and take York, Penn.-based Graham Packaging Company public. According to Hicks, the deal is worth approximately $3.2 billion.

The new deal would see Graham Packaging become a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange, with Hicks Acquisition’s shareholders owning two-thirds of the company’s common shares.

Graham manufactures plastic containers for a wide range of industries, ranging from food and beverage to lubricants. The company employs approximately 8,700 globally, but reported a net loss of US$206 million last year on sales of US$2.5 billion.

The deal will see Hicks pay $700 million, pay fees of about 6 million and pay down debt of $56 million, while also assuming about $2.52 billion of Graham’s existing debt.

“We look forward to partnering with Tom Hicks and Blackstone, both of which have long track records of value creation,” said Graham chairman and CEO Warren Knowlton in a statement. “With the support of our new ownership group and our strong free cash flow from operations, we will continue to invest in and grow our business, pay down debt, accelerate our earnings growth.”

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