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  • 03 Jul 2013

Chesapeake acquired by The Carlyle Group

Chesapeake logo

The Carlyle Group, a global asset management company, has acquired Chesapeake, one of the largest global suppliers of value-added paper-based packaging products and services from Irving Place Capital and funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management.

Headquartered in Nottingham, UK, and with nearly 5,000 employees across 38 sites in nine countries, Chesapeake is a high-quality and premium producer of paper-based leaflets, labels and cartons, primarily for the pharmaceutical, confectionery and premium drinks markets for a blue-chip client base. 

Chesapeake has grown significantly in recent years to produce revenues of €580 million in 2012.

Capital for this investment will come from Carlyle Europe Partners III L.P., a €5.3 billion fund that makes mid- and large-cap investments.

Eric Kump, managing director of Carlyle Europe Partners, said: ‘Chesapeake is a strong business focused on attractive growth markets. 

‘The management team has delivered sustained growth and significantly strengthened the company in recent years. We look forward to partnering with them to further develop the company’s international footprint and to invest in delivering industry leading products and services.

‘We believe the combination of Carlyle’s global presence and network and the strength of the company’s existing footprint and customer relationships will help drive significant growth and new market opportunities in the coming years.’

Mike Cheetham, chief executive officer of Chesapeake, said: ‘We are delighted to have Carlyle working with us as we continue building on the strong reputation we have earned for our high quality products and services. Carlyle’s backing will support our aspirations to build upon our strong investments over the past three years as we further grow and develop our business. This collaboration will allow us to respond effectively to new business opportunities as we look to further align our business with our customers’ global requirements.’

This is the latest in a number of high-profile acquisitions in the packaging market in 2013, including Contego Cartons, A&R Carton, AGI-Shorewood’s tobacco packaging assets and the purchase of ExxonMobil Chemical’s global BOPP film business by India’s Jindal Poly Films Ltd. Read more on these through sister publication Packprint World at

The Carlyle Group was advised on the transaction by Moorgate Capital, Latham & Watkins, Credit Suisse and KPMG. Financing was provided by Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, UBS and Barclays.

Nicholas Mockett, head of packaging mergers and acquisitions (M&A) at Moorgate Capital, said: ‘Carlyle’s investment in Chesapeake highlights the increasing importance of packaging in consumer marketing and the vital role that packaging plays in highly regulated industries, such as pharmaceuticals, in protecting the end user.’ 

Mockett detailed some of the drivers for M&A activity in the packaging market in the most recent issue of Packprint World, which can be read here, and added: ‘There has been a sea change in this segment in recent months, with Contego Healthcare being acquired by Filtrona for £160 million and the sister company Contego Cartons being acquired by Graphic Packaging of the USA.

Mockett added: ‘Chesapeake is an exceptional platform for growth, with strong management, excellent facilities, and unparalleled footprint. It is European number one in pharmaceutical and healthcare packaging and a market leader in cartons for branded FMCG.’