Graham Partners’ Acquisition of Advanced Barrier Extrusions


Dechert LLP advised Graham Partners on the deal

Graham Partners, a private investment firm targeting industrial technology and advanced manufacturing companies, has partnered with existing management to acquire Advanced Barrier Extrusions, LLC (“ABX”). Located in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, ABX is a leading flexible packaging manufacturer of high barrier forming web films primarily for the North American protein, cheese, and specialty food end markets. ABX’s multi-layer cast films require a high level of manufacturing complexity and are critical for shelf life extension, spoilage reduction, and food safety. ABX’s technical expertise as well as the company’s nimble and flexible manufacturing capabilities have made the company the preferred service provider for a variety of high growth customers. ABX is also the beneficiary of several consumer megatrends that are driving growth at the company, including a shift in preference toward clean labels, increased spending on fresh foods, heightened focus on food safety, and a greater number of SKUs and brands in the core food categories ABX serves.

Graham’s investment thesis in ABX focuses on partnering with ABX’s existing management team to capitalize on the company’s niche leadership position and the aforementioned growth levers. Graham plans to pursue new product development opportunities in adjacent markets, while growing the business through add-on acquisitions and capacity expansion, as well as increasing operational efficiencies.

ABX is the third platform investment Graham Partners has closed in 2018 that was sourced out of the company’s targeted Investment Theme Program. After identifying flexible packaging as an attractive investment niche within the packaging industry, Graham began proactive outreach to companies. This initiative ultimately resulted in the proprietary acquisition of ABX from the family owner-operators of the business, who will retain a significant ownership stake in the business and continue to operate the company on a day to day basis.

The Dechert team advising Graham Partners was led by corporate partner Jeffrey Legath (Picture) and associate Jonathan Stott. The team included corporate partners Henry Nassau, finance partner Sarah Gelb, employee benefits partner David Jones, tax partner Joshua Milgrim, environmental partner Abbi Cohen and intellectual property partner Thomas Rayski. Additional support came from corporate counsel Elizabeth Tabas and associates Sean Rosenthal, Sean Herron, Jieun Paik and Angela Kim; real estate counsel Francois Quintard-Morenas; employee benefits associates Andrew Braid and Michael Binko; tax associate Andy Lau; intellectual property associate Noah Shier; and labor associate Jeffrey Rubin.

Involved fees earner: Jeffrey Legath – Dechert; Jonathan Stott – Dechert; Henry Nassau – Dechert; Elizabeth Tabas Carson – Dechert; Sean Rosenthal – Dechert; Sean Herron – Dechert; Jieun Paik – Dechert; Angela Kim – Dechert; Sarah Gelb – Dechert; David Jones – Dechert; Andrew Braid – Dechert; Michael Binko – Dechert; Jeffrey Rubin – Dechert; Joshua Milgrim – Dechert; Andy Lau – Dechert; Abbi Cohen – Dechert; Thomas Rayski – Dechert; Noah Shier – Dechert; Francois Quintard-Morenas – Dechert;

Law Firms: Dechert;

Clients: Graham Partners;

Author: Ambrogio Visconti