Sonoco to Divest Europe Contract Packaging Business to Prairie Industries Holdings backed by The Halifax Group

Sonoco (NYSE: SON), one of the most diversified global packaging companies, today announced it has signed an agreement to sell its Europe contract packaging business to Prairie Industries Holdings, a Wisconsin-based contract packaging and contract manufacturing firm backed by The Halifax Group, a Washington, D.C.-based global investment firm, for $120 million in cash. The transaction is subject to normal closing requirements and is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Sonoco’s Europe contract packaging business (Sonoco Poland Packaging Services Sp. z o.o.) produced net sales of approximately $300 million in 2019 and provides full-service custom packaging and supply chain management solutions to global consumer product goods companies through six contract packaging facilities in three locations and a warehouse all in Poland. The business is part of Sonoco’s Display and Packaging segment and has approximately 2,600 employees.

According to Howard Coker, Sonoco President and Chief Executive Officer, the divestiture is part of the Company’s efforts to simplify its operating structure to focus on growing its core Consumer and Industrial packaging businesses. Net proceeds from the transaction are expected to be used to reduce short-term debt and further improve the Company’s strong liquidity position.

“Since opening our Europe contract packaging business with a single customer 20 years ago, we have built this business to serve some of the best known global consumer product brands supplying consumers in more than 40 countries in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia,” said Coker. “I want to thank our dedicated management team and employees in our contract packaging operations in Poland for their contributions to Sonoco and wish them the best as part of the Halifax family of companies.”

Scott Lamb, Chief Executive Officer of Prairie Industries Holdings, welcomed the Sonoco Europe contract packaging team to the Prairie organization saying, “the team’s outstanding reputation for quality service in Europe, along with a portfolio of world-class facilities, will position the combined business as a global contract packaging leader. We look forward to serving our customers with an enhanced set of capabilities, provided on a global basis.”

Rothschild & Co was financial advisor for Sonoco on the transaction. Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd served as legal advisor and was assisted in Poland by DWF Poland Jamka sp.k.

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