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Forbes. Prior to founding Egeria, Visser was managing director at MeesPierson NV for 7 years where he was responsible for the banks’ private equity activities in Europe. packaging-mna_dealogic_1h16 “Although they have moderated somewhat in the last six months, M&A multiples in packaging continue to remain near longer term highs, driven by the availability of financing for acquisitions, as well as the relative resiliency of the sector during recessions,” said investment banking firm William Blair. “In particular, we believe the sector has generated increased interest from investors as the latest economic growth cycle approaches a downturn.” “Over the past decade, the packaging industry has seen a steady shift from rigid to flexible packaging as consumers look for more convenient options. As a result, revenue growth in flexible packaging has outpaced GDP growth over the past several years,” Blair added. This is the third significant European flexible packaging deal in three years to be passed from one private equity house to another, according to Plastics in Packaging. In early 2015 One Equity sold Constantia to Wendel, while Capiton sold Schur to Lindsay Goldberg in July 2016. “The packaging sector continued to experience healthy transaction volume through the first half of 2016,” said investment banking firm PMCF. “In total, the first half of 2016 resulted in 146 packaging transactions compared with 147 in the first half of 2015. Strategic buyers were the most active with 70% of acquisitions, while private equity add-on activity remained flat, and new private equity platform investments experienced some decline.” PMCF said it believes both private equity and strategic buyers remain “well positioned and eager to complete acquisitions.” Historically elevated valuation levels were sustained through the first half of 2016, with H1 2016 year-to-date average EV/EBITDA multiples of approximately 8.0x, according to PMFC. In June, packaging and printing conglomerate Transcontinental Inc. (TSX: TCL.A) acquired flexible packaging business Robbie Manufacturing Inc. for $40 million, or an EV/EBITDA multiple of 6.8x. Leading rigid plastic packaging business RPC Group expanded into the flexible packaging market via the acquisition of British Polythene Industries plc (BPI) at an enterprise value of $372 million. “We are committed to supporting Clondalkin and are convinced it has attractive growth opportunities,” said Floris Waage, a partner at Egeria. ‘We are delighted to team up with Egeria for the next step of our development plan,” said Paddy Mullaney, CEO of Clondalkin. Flexible packaging industry executives believe that other than a large shift in energy prices, there are very few tangible threats to a strong 2016 for flexible packaging companies. Sustained low oil prices have kept resin costs low, passing along lower prices to customers and increasing demand for equipment and services.]]>