International Paper and Atlas Holdings on Monday signed a definitive agreement to combine their consumer packaging solutions businesses, pending regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions. As a result of the agreement, Shorewood Packaging and AGI World, two leading global specialty packaging companies, will become AGI-Shorewood, creating one of the largest and most innovative specialty packaging businesses in the world with operations in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Latin America.
"For more than a decade, Shorewood Packaging has been an important part of International Paper and has made many contributions to our company, particularly through leadership in innovation and creative services for customers," said Tom Kadien, senior vice president of International Paper's Consumer Packaging and IP Asia businesses. "By merging Shorewood with AGI, our employees and our customers will have many more options and opportunities in the future, and we will continue to be a strong partner in those efforts."
"We are excited about this combination, bringing together two businesses with great legacies and creating a new global leader with unparalleled capability to serve the world's premier consumer product, media and entertainment and tobacco companies," said Andrew Bursky, chairman of Atlas Holdings. "We are committed to building the new AGI-Shorewood around the needs of our customers, providing innovation, efficiency and exceptional service through an unrivaled network of global packaging and creative service facilities."
Once the transaction is complete, the new company will employ nearly 4,000 people and will operate 24 manufacturing facilities around the world. In addition, AGI-Shorewood will be a nimble supplier, strategically focused on its key consumer packaging, media and entertainment, and tobacco packaging markets, which include beauty and personal care, cosmetics and fragrance, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, consumer electronics, golf, confectionary and specialty foods and tobacco and specialty gravure.
Mike Ukropina, currently president, Shorewood Packaging, will lead the new AGI-Shorewood organization as president and CEO.
"AGI and Shorewood are an excellent fit," said Ukropina. "Both companies are made up of extremely talented people who are unrivaled in customer focus and also share a deep commitment to safety, a drive for continuous improvement and a belief in helping people grow and succeed. I'm looking forward to the opportunities that lie ahead."
The merging of Shorewood with AGI reflects Atlas' investment strategy of purchasing and successfully transitioning divisions of larger corporate parents into strong independent companies.
Upon closing of the transaction, Atlas will own 100 percent of the combined AGI-Shorewood business in the U.S. and International Paper will own a 40 percent interest in the combined AGI-Shorewood business outside of the U.S. The various regional transactions are expected to close before the end of 2011.