Benetton’s Edizione readying bid for packaging firm Guala Closures, say sources: Reuters

Italy’s Edizione Holding, the investment vehicle of the Benetton family, is preparing a bid for Italian packaging manufacturer Guala Closures, valued at more than 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) including debt, three sources said.

Guala’s main shareholder, Apriori Capital Partners, mandated Barclays and Credit Suisse in May to help with a sale or a possible initial public offering.

The company, which specialises in packaging used to close or seal containers, such as bottle tops, has also attracted the interest of Australia-based rival Amcor and GS Merchant Banking Division.

Guala’s advisers have asked bidders to table indicative offers by a deadline of Sept. 19, the sources said.

Edizione is the investment vehicle of the Benetton family, which controls Italian road and airports group Atlantia and travel caterer Autogrill, but also invests in clothing, food and beverage and real estate.

One of the sources said that private equity firms Onex Corporation, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, KKR also intend to bid.

Apriori Capital and Amcor were not immediately available for comment. Edizione, KKR, Onex, GS Merchant Banking and Clayton, Dublier & Rice declined to comment.

Bankers approaching different private equity bidders to offer financing packages are working on debt financing totalling around 800 million euros, or 6.5 times Gualas approximate 110 million euros in Ebitda (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation), the sources added.

Guala, which sells more than 14 billion of its products each year and counts Diageo, Pernod Ricard, Remy Cointreau among its customers, has rebuffed offers from groups such as private equity firm KKR on price in the past.

Guala Closures is directly owned by GLC Holdings whose main investor is Apriori Capital. With 4,000 employees, it was delisted from the stock exchange in 2008.