AEA Investors currently owns TricorBraun and has since 2016 when that firm closed its acquisition of the St Louis, Missouri – based packaging company. And as with many investor-owned supply side businesses, TricorBraun itself has been fairly acquisitive recently.
Last September, for instance, the company acquired rigid packaging distributor Price Container and Packaging, a company that specializes in the industrial and food markets. And on the very same day that the Ares / Ontario Teachers’ deal was announced, TricorBraun closed on the acquisition of Packaging Solutions Inc. (which Cosmetics Design reported on the when the likelihood of that transaction was first announced in early 2020).
Tom Pryma, Partner at AEA, see the firm’s ownership stint of TricorBraun as a success, telling the press, “We are proud of our work with Keith, Court, and the TricorBraun management team to help drive growth through a number of successful initiatives, creating significant long-term value. We value our strong partnership, and we are excited to continue our support of TricorBraun’s growth strategies,” referring to the fact that AEA will for now retain an investment in the packaging company.
TricorBraun President and CEO sees a bright future
In a press release announcing the Ares / Ontario Teachers’ deal, TricorBraun President and CEO Court Carruthers asserts that, “Ares and Ontario Teachers’ are the right partners to help us expand on our steady growth as we continue to build the best place for the best people in packaging.”
“We have had a tremendously successful partnership with AEA, culminating with record sales in 2020, and,” he says, “we look forward to working with Ares and Ontario Teachers’ to deliver even greater value to our customers and suppliers over the coming years.”
Following the deal, which is anticipated to close in Q1 of this year, Carruthers, along with TricorBraun Executive Chairman Keith Strope and the existing management team, will remain with the company.
New investors plan for more growth at TricorBraun
TricorBraun got its start in 1902 and has since grown to be not only North America’s largest packaging distributor but a global company with some 50 locations across this continent, Europe, and Asia. Today, TricorBraun employs over 1,100 people and banks $1.5bn in sales annually.
And of course the company’s new owners have plans to turn TricorBraun into an even bigger business in the future: “We believe that TricorBraun’s deep expertise, entrepreneurial approach, strong track record, and exceptional culture differentiate the company from its peers,” says Brian Klos, Partner at Ares’ Private Equity Group, in the release. “We look forward to working with Court and TricorBraun’s strong management team to drive the next phase of the Company’s growth, both organically and through strategic acquisitions,” he adds.
Karen Frank, Senior Managing Director of Equities, at Ontario Teachers’ (a pension plan with over $200bn in assests), sees the opportunity in a similar light: “TricorBraun,” she says, “is uniquely positioned to serve the requirements of the packaging industry. The Company has made significant investments in top talent and operations, and will seek to capitalize on those to drive long-term growth in the years ahead. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with TricorBraun through its next chapter.”