Exit sign

LDC exits printing and packaging business Benson Group in a GBP100m deal

Mid-market private equity provider LDC has completed the sale of its stake in Benson Group in a GBP100m deal with Graphic Packaging International.

LDC took a significant stake in Benson Group in December 2011.
Based across four production sites, Benson Group is a supplier of printed folding carton board packaging to the food retail sector. The business also has a major presence in the healthcare market, as a manufacturer of cartons, patient information leaflets and labels for pharmaceutical customers in the UK and Europe.
Benson Group’s customer base includes Two Sisters Food Group, Reckitt Benckiser, Greencore and Samworth Brothers. The business employs more than 900 staff and operates from its head office in Bardon in Leicestershire, as well as manufacturing sites in Newcastle, Gateshead and Crewe.
Since investing in Benson Group, LDC has worked in close partnership with the management team led by managing director Mark Kerridge to implement a plan focused on driving organic growth.
The business has made considerable investment in its core infrastructure with new plant and machinery installed at all of its UK operations. In 2014, the business will complete its largest ever print investment, with the purchase of a state-of-the-art format perfecting press machine, to be housed at its site in Gateshead.
Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Graphic Packaging International is a provider of packaging solutions to the food, beverage and other consumer markets. The acquisition of Benson Group will further strengthen Graphic Packaging International’s position in the European printed folding carton sector, particularly through Benson Group’s core expertise in the convenience market.
Andy Grove, investment director at LDC, says: “This exit to Graphic Packaging International represents an excellent outcome for Benson Group. Having worked closely with the management team for just over two years, we were keen to ensure the right strategic fit was achieved for the business and we are confident that we have delivered on this objective. We wish everyone at Benson Group continued success in the future.”
Kerridge says: “We have enjoyed a close working relationship with the Midlands team at LDC in recent years, during which time they have been instrumental in helping us to deliver on our growth objectives. Their support and strategic input has been invaluable and Benson Group now has a strong foundation upon which to progress further.”
To complete the transaction, LDC and management received legal support from Eversheds in Nottingham.

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