Global packaging company Sonoco has signed a definitive agreement to acquire protective packaging company Tegrant from Metalmark Capital in a deal worth $550m.

The addition of Tegrant and its family of businesses will significantly enhance Sonoco’s position as a protective packaging solutions company and expands the products, services and capabilities.

Sonoco chairman and CEO Harris DeLoach said Tegrant is projected to generate sales of about $440m in 2011. The combined businesses are expected to generate around $5bn in 2012.

Sonoco’s combined protective packaging businesses are expected to represent about 11% of the company’s projected 2012 sales.

Sonoco hopes to close the acquisition in November 2011.