US-based diversified global packaging company Sonoco has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Clear Lam Packaging, a family-held business that develops flexible and forming plastic packaging films, for nearly $170m in cash.

According to Sonoco executive vice-president and chief operating officer Rob Tiede, this acquisition will provide a substantial technology advantage to the company facilitating synergy through the internalisation of materials for its existing flexible and thermoforming clientele.

Sonoco president and chief executive officer Jack Sanders said: “The addition of Clear Lam will significantly expand our flexible packaging and thermoforming plastics operations as we will be able to develop, produce and convert high-barrier flexible and forming film structures to package fresh and prepared food products purchased in the growing store perimeter.

“As an example, Clear Lam complements our recent acquisition of Peninsula Packaging’s thermoforming operations by being able to produce barrier flexible film lidding that extends shelf life, is resealable and provides a complete packaging solution to our fresh fruit and vegetable customers.”

"The addition of Clear Lam will significantly expand our flexible packaging and thermoforming plastics operations."

Clear Lam was founded in 1969 and it operates two manufacturing facilities in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, US and Nanjing, China.

It focuses on the development, production and conversion of high-barrier flexible and forming films which are used to pack consumer goods including perishable foods.

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With nearly 440 staff, Clear Lam caters to various companies and markets, including condiments, dairy, meats and cheese, produce, confection, fresh and prepared foods, nuts and snacks, foodservice and personal care.

The transaction, subject to customary regulatory reviews and closing conditions, is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.

Rothschild & Co. served as the exclusive financial advisor to Clear Lam.