RGHL confirms 'approach' to buy SIG Combibloc: $5bn price tag rumored

SIG Combibloc's facility in Paraná state, Brazil

Reynolds Group says it will perform a strategic review of the world’s second-largest carton producer SIG Combibloc after an approach by an unnamed suitor looking to buy the business.

The packaging conglomerate – owned by New Zealand’s wealthiest man, the media shy Graeme Hart – announced the news in a US Securities & Exchange Commission Filing yesterday.

Announcing the strategic review of “certain packaging businesses” yesterday, Reynolds Group Holdings (RGHL) said this covered Evergreen Packaging (America's largest producer of consumer juice and milk cartons) and RGHL's closures businesses.

The company said the initiative “is part of a review and possible reallocation of capital and resources within its business portfolio”.

“In addition, as a result of an approach received, RGHL has decided to also undertake a strategic review of its SIG business,” the firm added.

“Bot reviews may result in a decision to sell some or all of those businesses, although no decision has been made at this time to do so,” RGHL said in its filing.

Early last month, Reuters reported, citing unnamed sources, that Hart was exploring a possible sale of SIG (the world No.2 behind Tetra Pak in paperboard drinks cartons) for a mooted figure of $5bn, and had hired bankers Goldman Sachs to assess its future.

The rumored price is based on a x10 EBITDA multiple - SIG reported annual earnings of $543m in 2013, up 9% year-on-year, due to higher sales volumes and cash earnings from joint ventures.

He bought SIG for $2.3bn in 2007 but is reportedly under pressure to reduce debt, having borrowed heavily to finance other major recent acquisitions – Pactiv Corp for $6bn in 2010 and Graham Packaging for $4.5bn in 2011.

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