Corrugated packaging moves signal large company interest

Indiana-based Schwarz Partners has purchased a Georgia-based box company, while conglomerate Hood Cos. acquires a packaging provider.

corrugated board
Both acquiring companies in recent transactions have a presence in the recycled-content paperboard sector.
Image provided by iStock

Two recent paperboard packaging industry transactions point to ongoing merger and acquisition (M&A) interest by large corporations in increasing their presence in that sector.

Chicago-based investment bank P&M Corporate Finance (PMCF) has announced its participation in two M&A transactions within the corrugated packaging industry during the third quarter of this year. The buyer in one case was a wholly owned subsidiary of Indiana-based vertically integrated packaging provider Schwarz Partners, which also is a co-owner of recycled-content board producer New-Indy Containerboard.

The other buyer is Hood Container Corp., a business unit of Mississippi-based Hood Cos. Inc. Hood Container operates two recycled-content paper mills in the U.S. Southeast.

In the first transaction, Winder, Georgia-based Progress Container has been acquired by The Royal Group (TRG), a wholly owned subsidiary of Schwarz Partners. PMCF describes Progress Container as “a premier solutions provider in the corrugated industry, offering a range of packaging for industrial, retail, eCommerce, and point-of-purchase display customers.”

TRG parent company Schwarz Partners operates several paperboard packaging business units and is a joint venture operator, along with the Massachusetts-based Kraft Group, of New-Indy Containerboard. On its website, Schwarz Partners writes, “New-Indy operates four mills, with three specializing in recycled containerboard, one focusing on virgin linerboard.”

Within TRG, newly acquired Progress Container “marks the 17th manufacturing facility and 37th TRG location nationwide,” PMCF writes in its press release. This will be the second TRG location in Georgia, along with Dalton Box.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for TRG to expand our capabilities and solutions for our customers,” says Bob McIlvaine, CEO of TRG. “Progress Container is a well-respected name in our industry, and their commitment to high graphics solutions and state-of-the-art equipment further enhances our mission statement to provide value-added solutions to the most demanding customers.”

In the other transaction, Walker, Michigan-based KPC will join Atlanta-based Hood Container Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Hood Cos. 

Hood Container operates mills in Louisiana and Tennessee that produce corrugated medium and kraft liner and paper grades. Statements on its website indicate it uses 25 percent recycled fiber (old corrugated containers, or OCC) at its Louisiana mill and in 2021 used nearly 55 percent recovered paper at its Tennessee corrugated medium mill.

Charlie Hodges, president and chief operating officer of Hood Container, says, “Hood sees Kentwood as an excellent fit with our own company’s guiding principles and desires to be the best supplier to our customers in the markets we have elected to serve. The addition of Kentwood will help us to continue to build on those key qualities as we merge Kentwood and our own cultures going forward.”

Transaction services provider PMCF describes itself as a client-centric middle-market investment bank providing merger and acquisition advisory services to privately held shareholders and to public and private equity-owned companies worldwide.

Share This Content