AEA Sells TricorBraun to Ares and Ontario Teachers’

Ares Management and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board have agreed to acquire a majority interest in TricorBraun, a rigid and flexible packaging supplier, from AEA Investors.

TricorBraun is one of the largest North American distributors of primary packaging including glass containers, closures, dispensers, tubes and flexibles. Customers of the company include numerous consumer packaged goods companies operating in the personal care, household cleaning, food and beverage, healthcare, and nutraceutical sectors.

TricorBraun was founded in 1902 and acquired by CHS Capital (then Code Hennessy & Simmons) in 1999. CHS sold the company to AEA in 2004, repurchased it in 2006, and sold it again to AEA in November 2016.

TricorBraun, with more than $1.5 billion in annual sales, has more than 1,100 employees at 50 locations in North America, Europe, and Asia. The St. Louis-headquartered company is led by its executive chairman Keith Strope and CEO Court Carruthers. TricorBraun’s senior management team will continue to lead the business in partnership with Ares and Ontario Teachers’, with AEA maintaining a minority interest in the company.

“We believe that TricorBraun’s deep expertise, entrepreneurial approach, strong track record, and exceptional culture differentiate the company from its peers,” said Brian Klos, a partner at Ares. “We look forward to working with Court and TricorBraun’s strong management team to drive the next phase of the company’s growth, both organically and through strategic acquisitions.”

“Ares and Ontario Teachers’ are the right partners to help us expand on our steady growth as we continue to build the best place for the best people in packaging,” said Mr. Carruthers. “We have had a tremendously successful partnership with AEA, culminating with record sales in 2020, and we look forward to working with Ares and Ontario Teachers’ to deliver even greater value to our customers and suppliers over the coming years.”

TricorBraun completed several add-on acquisitions under AEA ownership including the buy of Willard, Utah-based Price Container and Packaging in September 2020, and Minneapolis-based Packaging Solutions in January 2020.

“TricorBraun is uniquely positioned to serve the requirements of the packaging industry,” said Karen Frank, a senior managing director at Ontario Teachers’. “The company has made significant investments in top talent and operations and will seek to capitalize on those to drive long-term growth in the years ahead. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with TricorBraun through its next chapter.”

Ares Management (NYSE: ARES) has approximately $179 billion of assets under management and invests in private equity, leveraged loans, high-yield bonds, distressed debt, and private debt.  Within Ares, its private equity group manages $23 billion of assets and is currently investing its fifth private equity fund with $7.8 billion of committed capital.  Ares is headquartered in Los Angeles with offices across the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario Teachers is one of Canada’s largest and most active pension investors with C$205 billion in assets under management. The group has additional offices in Hong Kong and London.

“We are proud of our work with Keith, Court, and the TricorBraun management team to help drive growth through a number of successful initiatives, creating significant long-term value,” said Tom Pryma, a partner at AEA. “We value our strong partnership, and we are excited to continue our support of TricorBraun’s growth strategies.”

AEA invests across three sectors – value-added industrials, consumer, and services – and has 70 investment professionals at its headquarters in New York City with additional offices in Connecticut, London, Munich, and Shanghai. AEA was founded in 1968 by the Rockefeller, Mellon, and Harriman family interests and S.G. Warburg & Co.

Harris Williams is the financial advisor to TricorBraun on this transaction. The Harris William’s transaction team is led by Bob Baltimore, Graham Gillam and Bill Greven of the firm’s specialty distribution group, and Brandt Carr and Dan Savage of the firm’s industrials group.

“Having worked with TricorBraun previously, it has been impressive to witness the company’s continued success under the management team and AEA’s leadership,” said Mr. Baltimore. “We are proud to have worked with AEA and management on another successful transaction and are excited to watch the company build on its leadership position with the support of its new partners.”

The TricorBraun transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021.

© 2021 Private Equity Professional | January 8, 2021

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