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Rank Makes $1.64 Billion Bid for Graham Packaging

June 14, 2011
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Rank Group, owned by New Zealand''s richest man Graeme Hart, is the mystery bidder behind a $1.64 billion bid for Graham Packaging Co Inc., said a source familiar with the situation, trumping an earlier bid from Silgan Holdings Inc, reports Reuters. Privately held Rank, led by Hart, a former tow-truck driver now estimated by Forbes to have a net worth of $5.5 billion, has a track record of big acquisitions. In 2008, Rank bought Alcoa Packaging & Consumer Group for $2.7 billion, a business it later renamed Reynolds Packaging Group. Last year, Reynolds acquired Pactiv, the maker of Hefty garbage bags, for $4.6 billion, plus debt, in one of the largest packaging industry deals in years. Graham, which had 2010 sales of $2.5 billion, makes custom blow-molded rigid plastic containers for consumer products makers such as HJ Heinz Co, Kraft Foods Inc, Unilever PLC and Coca-Cola Co. Graham Packaging said in a statement earlier that an unnamed bidder had made an unsolicited $25 per share cash offer, 13 percent higher than Silgan''s bid of about $22.10 a share. Silgan''s cash-and-stock offer, worth $1.3 billion when it was made in April, is now worth $1.45 billion.
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