US’ Berry Global, Glatfelter merge to form specialty materials firm

February 09, 2024 - United States Of America

Berry Global Group and Glatfelter Corporation have announced that they have entered into definitive agreements for Berry to spin-off and merge the majority of its health, hygiene and specialties segment to include its Global Nonwovens and Films business (HHNF) with Glatfelter, to create a leading, publicly-traded company in the specialty materials industry. The boards of directors of Berry and Glatfelter have unanimously approved the transaction.

The new combined company (NewCo) will become a global leader in the growing specialty materials industry, serving the world’s largest brand owners across global end markets with favourable long-term growth dynamics. HHNF brings an extensive portfolio of proprietary technologies, with a strong focus on healthcare, hygiene, and specialty end markets, while Glatfelter provides a broad range of innovation capabilities and sustainability solutions. Together, the combined company will offer a highly complementary product suite, including both polymer-based and fiber-based solutions, supported by strong innovation capabilities, with significant geographic diversification and a presence in all major markets.

“This announcement is the culmination of a comprehensive review of strategic alternatives to determine the value-maximising path forward for Berry shareholders,” said Kevin Kwilinski, Berry’s chief executive officer. “We believe these two businesses, in combination, can drive significant value for shareholders with complementary portfolios, positioning each for greater success. Following completion of the transaction, Berry will become a pure-play provider of innovative, sustainable global packaging solutions, which we believe will deliver even more predictable earnings growth for Berry shareholders. Additionally, we believe HHNF in combination with Glatfelter will thrive as an independent company that is positioned to drive long-term growth with its global brand-owner customers.”

"The uniting of our organisations creates a premier nonwovens supplier and a global leader in specialty materials, with the talent, technologies, scale, and footprint to deliver commercial and operational excellence, and a wide range of solutions for our customers. Our combined company is scaled to accelerate innovation and leverage our intellectual property over a large worldwide commercial platform and is well positioned to deliver substantial shareholder value," said Thomas Fahnemann, Glatfelter's president and chief executive officer.

In September, Berry announced a review of strategic alternatives for its Health, Hygiene & Specialties (HH&S) segment. Today's announcement is the culmination of a comprehensive review of strategic alternatives to determine the value-maximising path forward for Berry shareholders. The remaining HH&S businesses, including Berry’s tapes business, will be retained by Berry.

The proposed transaction marks an important milestone in Berry’s transition to becoming a streamlined and focused provider of consumer packaging. Post-separation, Berry will continue to offer industry-leading products, solutions, and material science to help customers achieve their commercial and sustainability goals. Pro forma for the separation transaction, Berry generated approximately $10.2 billion of revenue and $1.8 billion in Adjusted EBITDA for the last twelve months period end December 30, 2023, the company said in a press release.

For Glatfelter, the proposed transaction represents the next significant milestone in the company’s time-tested strategy as a leading global supplier of specialty materials. The combination of Berry’s HHNF business and Glatfelter provides meaningful scale given the complementary technology and product portfolios, along with a platform for considerable growth in future periods. The transaction provides NewCo the opportunity to deliver significant value creation for Glatfelter shareholders by immediately deleveraging Glatfelter’s balance sheet and increasing the equity value of the overall enterprise, while also enhancing its credit profile with customers and suppliers. Glatfelter’s recent focus on optimising its portfolio, managing the price/cost spread dynamic, and driving commercial and operational excellence, along with G&A cost discipline, provides the foundation to meaningfully contribute towards the overall success of NewCo.