Contained IPO for Kelso-backed company

BWAY Holding, a maker of buckets and containers, priced below its expected range in an IPO today, as New York private equity backer Kelso unloaded more than half its ownership in the offering.

BWAY Holding, a portfolio company of New York private equity firm Kelso & Company, today went public at $15 per share in a roughly $150 million offering.

The valuation was lower than expected and more than 1 million shares less than originally planned. SEC documents originally put the expected IPO in the $16 to $18 range.

BWAY Holding, based in Atlanta, makes metal and plastic containers such as buckets.

Kelso originally took the company private in 2003 for roughly $174 million. Including assumed debt, the transaction was worth roughly $330 million.

Prior to today’s IPO, Kelso owned 85.8 percent of the company. The firm now owns 39.4 percent of BWAY, according to a filing. Kelso is the only selling shareholder in the offering.

Filings revealed that Kelso had been paid an annual “advisory fee” of $495,000 by BWAY, and that with the IPO, the company will pay the private equity firm a one-time termination fee of $5 million.

Goldman Sachs and Banc of America Securities are underwriters of the BWAY offering.

At press time BWAY was trading at $14.69 per share.