UK: Petainer to be entirely sold to financial investor KKR

Petainer, a UK-based company and one of the leading providers of plastic containers for the beverage industry, is on the verge of being bought by global investment firm KKR & Co (formerly Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.). KKR has filed a request for the takeover of Petainer Topco with German antitrust authorities on April 20. The request, which is currently under review, seems to be a result of last year’s occurrences.

In Mach last year Bain Capital, another financial investor, already wanted to restructure the market of PET kegs and bottles by acquiring at the same time Petainer and Resilux, a Belgian company producing preforms for the production of PET containers. After the German anti-trust authority did not grant a so-called phase I clearance and requested a phase II review, Bain walked away from the deal. A phase II investigation typically takes three months and is only required if the authority has serious concerns.

Therefore it is very likely that KKR & Co’s filing in Germany is intended to overcome the highest obstacle for a deal in the PET market before moving forward.

Petainer was the PET bottle business of Rexam, a leading manufacturer of beverage cans with 55 plants in over 20 countries, which headquartered in London, England.  

In 2009 the investment companies Next Wave Ventures and WHEB Ventures, both also based in London, England, purchased at a price of GBP 16 million (€14.5m) Petainer from Rexam, which itself was sold in 2016 to American company Ball Corporation.

2014 WHEB Ventures sold its shares in Petainer to its partner Next Wave Ventures for twice the price it had paid five years before. Two years later Next Wave signed a binding agreement with KKR Credit on a €100 million debt and equity investment into its portfolio company, Petainer UK Holdings, valuing the company at over €140 million. Next Wave said at that time that it returns €40 million to its investors, retains control of the company and secures an attractive package to support the company’s continued growth.

In 2015 Petainer entered into a joint venture with India's Innopac Containers and set up Petainer Innopac Packaging, headqurtered in New Delhi, India. In December 2017 the new company announced to spend $3 million on a molding plant in Mumbai to make preforms for large bottled water containers. The new plant will have a capacity of about 3 million preforms a year, and will replace imports from Petainer’s plant in the Czech Republic. The company is also considering the installation of a line for making beer kegs considering the growing demand.

Last month Petainer announced to build a new warehouse at its Aš plant in the Czech Republic to provide more on site storage capacity to meet its current and future ambitious growth plans while also improving sustainability.  The introduction of the new warehouse will remove the need for 1740 truck deliveries per annum, reducing Petainer’s carbon footprint significantly.

The development follows a similar initiative at Petainer’s Lidköping plant in Sweden, where a new warehouse was built next to the factory to provide more storage capacity, reducing logistics and carbon footprint.

At its Russian plant in Klin, Petainer has invested in injection-moulding capability to localise supply of preforms for the market-leading Petainer Keg.  The Russian plant will also have additional warehouse capacity to improve supply chain efficiencies.

Petainer Group CEO Hugh Ross, who joined the company 3 moths ago, said: “We have invested in our factories in Sweden, Czech Republic and Russia with a view to not only driving growth but also to significantly reduce the carbon footprint associated both with our supply chain and that of our customers.”

About Petainer

Petainer designs, develops, and manufactures Poly-Ethylene Terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles, containers and fittings for beer, wine, cider, spirits, and low carbonated drinks. The company is the global market leader in one-way PET kegs and related products and services as well as beverage bottles, refillable pet bottles, food containers, chemical containers, water coolers, and personal care packaging products.

Petainer has production facilities in Sweden, the Czech Republic, Russia, the USA and India, with its head office in London, UK. The company employs 368 people and had in 2016 a turnover of GBP 65 million (US$ 88m).

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