Gresham backs bottle-maker

Esterform Packaging, a UK bottle manufacturer, has received £30 million from Gresham Private Equity.

UK mid-market buyout firm Gresham Private Equity has invested £30 million (€44 million; $59 million) in Esterform Packaging, a UK-based bottle manufacturer.


Midlands-based Esterform, which makes plastic bottles for the UK drinks industry, generated annual sales of nearly £50 million in 2006. It operates two manufacturing facilities in the UK, and has made two acquisitions – Able Industries in 2001 and Petplas Packaging in 2005 – since its inception in 1998.


Gresham will take an undisclosed majority stake in the business, supporting the existing management team as it looks to expand the business, with a particular focus on the further development of environmentally friendly packaging.


Lloyds TSB provided debt finance for the deal.


Gresham made the investment from its fourth fund, which closed on £340 million in July after just one month of fundraising. Its previous related investments include Just Trays, a manufacturer of shower trays, in July and Olaer, a manufacturer of pressure regulators and coolers, in September 2005. The firm also recently bought London-listed ICM Computer Group for £105 million.