Blackstone buys German glassware maker

The US private equity firm has acquired Gerresheimer Glas in a secondary buyout from JP Morgan Partners and Investcorp for an undisclosed sum.

The Blackstone Group has acquired German glassware maker Gerresheimer Glas from JP Morgan Partners, the private equity arm of US investment bank JP Morgan Chase & Co, and Bahrain-based global investment bank Investcorp. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
 
Gerresheimer Glas is a Duesseldorf-based company that makes containers and glassware for the brewing, soft drink, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries, and for use in science and medicine. It owns 16 plants in Europe and the US, and employs 5,400 people. Last year its revenues were €550 million ($710 million).

JP Morgan Partners and Investcorp jointly bought the business in 2000 in an LBO backed by debt finance from Chase, Goldman Sachs and UBS Warburg.
 
The sale to Blackstone took the form of a limited auction. Sources close to the deal described it as 'pretty competitive' and said the vendors were 'close to signing with another buyer'.
 
Blackstone's investment was made through its 2002 vintage fund, the $6.5 billion Blackstone Capital Partners IV. The group has been involved in several deals in Germany in the past year. Last December, it acquired waste disposal firm Sulo Group for an undisclosed sum. In April 2004, it acquired chemical maker Celanese in a €3.1 billion public-to-private takeover. It is currently hoping to raise €750 million in a sale of the company's shares.
 
Investcorp was represented by law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher on the deal, while Simpson Thatcher represented Blackstone.