Graham Packaging Co. Inc. announced April 13 the signing of a definitive merger agreement under which it will be acquired by Silgan Holdings Inc.  in a cash-and-stock transaction valued at $19.56 per share, or a total of approximately $4.1 billion, including assumed indebtedness.  The deal is expected to close in the second half of this year.

The combined company will create a worldwide food and beverage franchise as a supplier of metal cans, closures, and rigid plastic containers. It will employ more than 17,000 associates in 19 countries through a network of approximately 180 plants and will have annual sales in excess of $6.2 billion.  

"Graham Packaging's commitment to innovation and technology has enabled us to build a differentiated company that has become a leader in the markets that we service for our global customers," Mark Burgess, Graham Packaging's CEO, said in a statement. "Likewise, our focus on operating excellence and disciplined business management has allowed Graham to successfully improve its performance and metrics significantly, resulting in our initial public offering last year.

"In combination with Silgan, we look forward to servicing customers even more effectively and providing them with sustainable and innovative packaging solutions that help them create winning products for the consumer. We are excited about the opportunities provided by the business combination and the advantages and complementary factors associated with our businesses."

“This acquisition allows Silgan to significantly broaden its ability to serve these important markets with multiple rigid packaging options,” said Tony Allott, Silgan's president and CEO. “Graham Packaging is a differentiated plastic packaging franchise with deep customer relationships and a strong track record for innovation. In combination, we anticipate building enhanced relationships with global customers in our target end markets."

To read an analysis of this deal, see A blockbuster deal in rigid plastics packaging