Missouri-based Alpha Packaging to be acquired by private equity firm Irving Place Capital; Alpha's top management team to stay in place under deal slated for September close

Pauline Vu

Pauline Vu

Aug 31, 2010 – Business Wire

NEW YORK and ST. LOUIS , August 31, 2010 (press release) – Irving Place Capital (“IPC”), a middle-market private equity firm, announced today that it has signed a purchase agreement to acquire Alpha Packaging (“Alpha”), a leading blow molder of plastic bottles and jars for the nutraceutical, pharmaceutical and personal care markets. IPC is investing in partnership with Alpha’s current management team, led by President and Chief Executive Officer Dave Spence and Chief Operating Officer Dan Creston. The transaction is expected to close in September of 2010.

“Alpha’s growth strategy will be accelerated when the company is recapitalized. Having IPC as an equity investor will allow us to continue our growth and make even larger acquisitions than those that we have made in the past.”

Alpha, which is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, manufactures plastic bottles and jars at five manufacturing facilities located strategically throughout the U.S., as well as a recently-opened plant in the Netherlands. The company’s Technigraph division provides high-quality container decorating services to leading personal care brands. Stonebridge Partners of White Plains, New York, fueled the growth of Alpha with significant capital investments that allowed the company to triple in size during their investment period.

Dave Spence, President and CEO of Alpha, said, “I am enormously proud of the business we have grown over the last 25 years and excited about the bright future that we have in front of us with Irving Place Capital. We are constantly looking for ways to support our customers’ growth by offering new products and technologies. We are committed to making our network of distributors and direct customers more competitive through additional investments in our existing operations and the completion of add-on acquisitions.”

COO Dan Creston said, “Alpha’s growth strategy will be accelerated when the company is recapitalized. Having IPC as an equity investor will allow us to continue our growth and make even larger acquisitions than those that we have made in the past.”

Phil Carpenter, a Senior Managing Director at Irving Place Capital, said, “Alpha is an excellent platform for growth and is a great complement to our packaging portfolio. The company has a strong position in attractive end-markets, and we look forward to working closely with Alpha’s management team to further expand the business.”

This transaction represents a continuation of Irving Place Capital’s focus on investing in packaging, a key area of focus and strength for the firm. IPC’s other platform investments in packaging include Multi Packaging Solutions, Inc., Chesapeake Corporation and Mold-Rite Plastics, Inc.

Under the agreement with IPC, Alpha’s top management team will stay in place. Dave Spence will remain as Alpha’s President and CEO. Upon transaction closed, Dan Creston will oversee all acquisition integration as the Executive Vice President of Corporate Development. Mike DeFazio, who currently serves as Vice President of Operations, will become Chief Operating Officer. Alpha’s Chief Financial Officer, Gary Seeman, and its Executive Vice President of Sales, Jack Baily, will remain in their positions.

About Alpha Packaging

Alpha is a leading manufacturer of plastic bottles and jars for the nutraceutical, pharmaceutical and personal care markets. Alpha’s sales force sells its products directly to end-users and also through a network of leading packaging distributors, including international distributors in key markets. Alpha is ranked as the 26th largest blow molder in the United States according to Plastics News’ 2009 rankings. Alpha is also ranked as the St. Louis region’s 16th-fastest growing private company according to St. Louis Business Journal and was recognized by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce as a 2009 Missouri Fast Track Award Recipient. For additional information, visit www.alphap.com.

About Irving Place Capital

Irving Place Capital invests private equity capital in buyouts, recapitalizations, and growth capital opportunities alongside superior management teams. Irving Place Capital focuses on making control or entrepreneur-driven investments. Since its formation in 1997, Irving Place Capital has been an investor in more than 50 companies and has raised over $4.0 billion of equity capital, including its current $2.7 billion institutional fund. More information about Irving Place Capital is available at www.irvingplacecapital.com.

About Stonebridge Partners

Stonebridge Partners has over 24 years of experience recapitalizing and supporting the growth objectives of middle market manufacturing companies. Stonebridge has invested over $850 million of equity in approximately 52 acquisitions and is currently investing through Stonebridge Partners Equity Fund IV, L.P. which closed in July 2008. Stonebridge primarily focuses on value-added manufacturing companies, specifically in the packaging, infrastructure, building products and specialty manufacturing industries. In addition to providing capital for growth, Stonebridge utilizes its Operating Partner business model to assist talented management teams in achieving their strategic goals and to generate significant growth in sales and profitability. 2010 will be another very successful year for Stonebridge, with the commencement of three new platform acquisitions through its Fund IV and the sale of its two remaining Fund III portfolio companies. Please visit www.stonebridgepartners.com for more information.

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