Merrill Lynch in Mexican tableware transaction

The private equity arm of Merrill Lynch has acquired Grupo Convermex, a Mexico-based disposable tableware manufacturer, from JPMorgan Partners.

Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity has purchased Grupo Convermex from JP Morgan Partners, the private equity arm of JPMorgan Chase & Co, and other investors. Convermex is a Mexican manufacturer and distributor of plastic disposable tableware products. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

JP Morgan’s acquisition of 100 percent of Grupo Convermex from the company’s founding family was originally announced in a press statement on 9 June 2003. The acquisition was made by Tableware Holding International, which is controlled by JPMorgan Partners. Through its $752 million (€596 million) Latin America Fund, JPMorgan Partners acquired Convermex alongside an independent management team, with plans to “solidify Convermex’s leadership position in the segment through continued growth in the disposable tableware market, which has grown at an average of 9 percent per year over the last six years,” according to the June 2003 press release. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed at the time.

Convermex was established in Puebla City in 1969, and has since expanded its factories and distribution centres across Mexico. Its clients include Coco Cola, Pepsi, KFC, McDonalds, Corona, Wal-mart, Unilever and AeroMexico, among others.

A spokesperson for Merrill Lynch declined to comment on the acquisition.

The transaction was advised by Merrill Lynch and JP Morgan Securities.