Bag maker Novolex gets bought by Carlyle Group

By: 
November 29, 2016

Private equity firm The Carlyle Group (Washington, DC) announced it is buying packaging company Novolex (Hartsville, SC) for an undisclosed amount. Windpoint Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm, is the majority shareholder in Novolex; while TPG Growth (Fort Worth, TX), owns a minority stake in the company. The transaction is expected to close before year-end.

“This is the next big step for Novolex and we could not be more pleased to join The Carlyle Group,” explained Stan Bikulege, Chairman and CEO. “We are deeply grateful to Wind Point Partners and TPG Growth for their steadfast support and leadership over the last four years. We would not be where we are today without them.”

Novolex will retain its name and become one of the companies in the Carlyle portfolio of investments. There will be no interruption of its operations and the Novolex management team will remain in place.

Earlier this month, Novolex announced it was acquiring the packaging division from Burrows Paper (Little Falls, NY). Burrows is a privately-owned, worldwide supplier of paper and packaging solutions, specializing in light weight paper applications and new product development. Burrows’ associates operate four paper mills and six packaging converting facilities. The company has been in operation for nearly 100 years.

“Novolex is a great company with strong market positions and long-standing customer relationships,” said Wes Bieligk, a Principal on Carlyle’s U.S. Buyout team. “We are excited to partner with Stan and the Novolex team to support the company’s growth initiatives.”

Of the decision to sell Novolex to Carlyle, Alex Washington, Managing Director, Wind Point Partners, said, “Since we acquired Novolex in 2012, together we have achieved our value creation plan for Novolex by growing revenue from $500 million to over $2.0 billion and increasing profitability through new products, conversion cost reduction, and five transformative add-on acquisitions. This has been a great partnership and we wish all involved in this transaction continued success.”

TPG Growth Partner Ransom Langford added, “Novolex has built a great business, and TPG Growth is thrilled to have worked alongside Stan and his management team to support the Company’s evolution.”

Equity for this investment will come from Carlyle Partners VI, a $13 billion U.S. buyout fund.

Novolex serves the retail, grocery, food service, hospitality, institutional and industrial markets. With the pending addition of Burrows’ packaging operations, the company will have 7,000 employees and 49 manufacturing plants: 47 in North America, including two world-class plastic recycling facilities, and one each in Europe and China.  Novolex’s brands include Hilex Poly, Fortune Plastics, Novolex Custom Film & Bag, Duro Bag, Bagcraft, De Luxe, General Packaging, International Converter, and Heritage Bag.

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