Irving, Oaktree acquire bankrupt packaging company

The US-based private equity firms will operate the US businesses of Chesapeake, which filed Chapter 11 on 30 December.

Irving Place Capital Management and Oaktree Capital Management have acquired the operating businesses of Chesapeake, which filed for Chapter 11 protection in the Eastern District of Virginia earlier this week.

The investment group led by the former Bear Stearns Merchant Banking Irving Place and distressed investment firm Oaktree will purchase substantially all of the assets of the subsidiaries for around $485 million and continue operating these businesses as a going concern. All of Chesapeake’s operations, including its manufacturing and distribution facilities in the US, have remained open and are operating on normal schedules.

Richmond, Virginia-based Chesapeake is an international supplier of paperboard and plastic packaging, with 44 locations in Europe, North America, Asia and Africa. The company’s non-US subsidiaries were not included in the Chapter 11 filing and there are no plans to put them into administration.

Los Angeles-based Oaktree recently took control of bankrupt foods products distributor Pierre Foods following approval of its reorganization plan by a bankruptcy court. In early December the firm closed a €1.8 billion European distressed investment fund, surpassing its target by about one-third.

New York-based Irving Place had been named Bear Stearns Merchant Banking before it rebranded itself on 1 November. Chief executive John Howard recently said the firm is looking to invest in retail companies based on traditional brick and mortar stores that do not have an online presence, and would potentially move the companies into e-commerce.