Midwest Can actively seeks packaging buys globally, investor says

26 March 2020

Midwest Can Company, a manufacturer of packaging for industrials and consumer end markets, is seeking complex packaging M&A opportunities in niche markets following its acquisition by Argand Partners, said managing director Heather Faust.


The Franklin Park, Illinois-based firm was acquired by Argand following a limited auction process on 2 March by private equity firm GenNx360Piper Sandler was financial advisor to Midwest Can, while Winston & Strawn provided legal counsel to Midwest Can and GenNx360.


Midwest Can supplies complex packaging products and manufactures portable fuel containers for the safe handling and storage of flammable liquids such as gas, diesel and kerosene. The company also manufactures custom blow-molded plastic containers for food, automotive, chemical and agriculture end markets.


Prior to its acquisition, Midwest Can cultivated a list of possible acquisition targets in the packaging space and Argand is further developing potential M&A opportunities internally, Faust said. She added that the company would welcome inbound approaches and is ready to make acquisitions immediately.


Add-on acquisitions should generate around USD 25m to USD 35m in EBITDA and expand Midwest Can’s geographical reach. The initial focus is the US, particularly with rigid packaging buys, and then internationally, Faust said.


“We’re really looking to take niche market leaders and grow them into global champions. That means helping them build infrastructure and capabilities to drive and support both organic and acquisition growth on a broader geographic footprint,” Faust said of Argand’s general strategy for its portfolio companies. Midwest Can, in particular, has the capability to support international growth with expansion into Canada and Mexico.


Midwest Can’s development of customer relationships in specialty packaging made it an attractive investment, Faust said. The company’s focus on investing in safety and innovation also sets it apart in the space, giving it a sustainable competitive advantage for organic growth opportunities in other complex packaging verticals.


Having previously worked with companies such as Pretium Packaging and IDQ Inc, a provider of closed system retrofit kits for automotive air conditioning systems, Argand has past investment expertise in packaging and regulated industries. This gives the PE firm an advantage in growing Midwest Can both organically and via M&A, Faust said.