Crown Holdings Acquires Signode’s Packaging Solutions

The $3.9 billion deal will "add a portfolio of premier transit and protective packaging franchises" to Crown's metal packaging business.
Matthew HellerDecember 19, 2017

Packaging company Crown Holdings said Tuesday it had agreed to acquire the Carlyle Group’s Signode unit for $3.91 billion to add solutions for protecting goods during transit to its metal packaging business.

The deal represents a modest return on Carlyle’s investment in Signode, which the private-equity firm acquired from Industrial Tool Works for $3.2 billion in 2014.

According to Crown, Signode is the world’s leading supplier of in-transit packaging systems and solutions. It had pro forma sales and adjusted EBITDA of $2.3 billion and $384 million, respectively, for the twelve months ended Nov. 30.

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“With this acquisition, we add a portfolio of premier transit and protective packaging franchises to our existing metal packaging business, thereby broadening and diversifying our customer base and significantly increasing our cash flow,” Crown CEO Timothy J. Donahue said in a news release.

Crown makes steel and aluminum cans for food and beverages, metal vacuum closures, and aerosol cans for companies including Proctor & Gamble, Coca-Cola, Molson Coors Brewing, Danone SA, and Unilever. For the most recent quarter, it reported net sales of $2.47 billion, reflecting increased global beverage, food, and aerosol can volumes.

Signode’s products secure and protect industrial and consumer goods during manufacturing, storage, and transit via commercial trucks, railcars, ocean ships, or airfreight, serving customers in approximately 60 countries.

Its brand names include Signode, Strapex, Orgapack, Fleetwood, Mima, and Angleboard. “Combined with its highly engineered equipment and service business, Signode offers full solutions to meet  customers’ transit packaging needs,” Donahue said.

In trading Tuesday, Crown shares fell 1.3% to $57.02, but the stock is still up 8.5% for the year. The beverage can business has been the company’s main strategic focus, with emerging markets such as Southeast Asia and Mexico experiencing particularly high growth rates.

“Globally, the industry demand for beverage cans has been on the rise in the past few years, which is expected to continue,” Zacks reported. “Growth of beverages such as energy drinks, teas, juices, sparkling waters, and craft beer as well as increased preference for cans over certain other forms of beverage packaging is fueling growth.”