The Carlyle Group Acquires Chesapeake

Bonnie Howard July 4, 2013

Global Alternative Asset Manager The Carlyle Group have announced the acquisition of Chesapeake, one of the largest global suppliers of value-added paper-based packaging products and services from Irving Place Capital and funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management.

Capital for this investment will come from Carlyle Europe Partners III L.P., a €5.3billion fund that makes mid- and large-cap investments.  Further terms of the investment were not disclosed.

Headquartered in Nottingham, UK, and with nearly 5,000 employees across 38 sites in 9 countries, Chesapeake is a high quality and premium producer of paper-based leaflets, labels and cartons, primarily for the pharmaceutical, confectionery and premium drinks markets for a blue-chip client base.  Chesapeake has grown significantly in recent years to produce revenues of €580m in 2012.

Eric Kump, Managing Director Carlyle Europe Partners, said: “Chesapeake is a strong business focused on attractive growth markets.  The management team has delivered sustained growth and significantly strengthened the company in recent years.  We look forward to partnering with them to further develop the company’s international footprint and to invest in delivering industry leading products and services. We believe the combination of Carlyle’s global presence and network and the strength of the company’s existing footprint and customer relationships will help drive significant growth and new market opportunities in the coming years.”

Mike Cheetham, Chief Executive Officer of Chesapeake commented: “We are delighted to have Carlyle working with us as we continue building on the strong reputation we have earned for our high quality products and services. Carlyle’s backing will support our aspirations to build upon our strong investments over the past three years as we further grow and develop our business. This collaboration will allow us to respond effectively to new business opportunities as we look to further align our business with our customers’ global requirements.”

Nicholas Mockett, Head of Packaging M&A at Moorgate Capital added: “Carlyle’s investment in Chesapeake highlights the increasing importance of packaging in consumer marketing and the vital role that packaging plays in highly regulated industries, such as pharmaceuticals, in protecting the end user.  There has been a sea change in this segment in recent months, with Contego Healthcare being acquired by Filtrona (now Essentra PLC) for £160m and the sister company Contego Cartons being acquired by Graphic Packaging of the USA.”

Carlyle was advised on the transaction by Moorgate Capital, Latham & Watkins, Credit Suisse, and KPMG. Financing was provided by Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, UBS and Barclays.