Fremont in $445m plastics exit

San Francisco’s Fremont Partners has agreed to sell Kerr Group to Berry Plastics, held by Goldman Sachs Capital Partners and JPMorgan Partners.

Fremont Partners, the San Francisco buyout fund, has agreed to sell plastics company Kerr Group to Berry Plastics for $445 million (€347 million).

The transaction amount includes the repayment of debt. Berry Plastics is held by private equity groups Goldman Sachs Capital Partners and JPMorgan Partners.

Fremont purchased Kerr in 1997 in a going-private acquisition. The company, based in Pennsylvania, operates eight facilities in North America. Kerr manufactures injection, compression, blow and extrusion molded plastic packaging for pharmaceutical, nutritional, food, beverage and personal care markets.

Berry Plastics, based in Indiana, manufactures and markets injection-molded and thermoformed plastic open-top containers, aerosol overcaps, closures, drink cups, and housewares.

Berry’s financial advisors were Goldman, Sachs & Co and J P Morgan. Affiliates of Goldman Sachs & Co. and J P Morgan have also committed to provide the financing necessary to consummate the acquisition. Deutsche Bank and Sagent Advisors served as financial advisors to Kerr.

In September, Fremont sold residential exteriors tools company Tapco International to publicly traded Headwaters Incorporated for $715 million (€586 million) in cash. Fremont invested $190 million in Tapco across three funds. Fremont’s original investment in the company was in 1999 from Fremont Partners II and a co-investment partnership. The two vehicles invested $100 million and $50 million, respectively.

Fremont Partners II is a 1996 fund with $605 million in commitments. Fremont Partners III, closed in 2001, has $920 million in committed capital.

In April 2004, the firm opened a Boston branch.