M+E Daily

MeadWestvaco to Sell AGI Packaging Business for $68 Million

Packaging giant MeadWestvaco Corp. announced late last week that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell its AGI media and entertainment packaging business to industrial holdings company Atlas Holdings, in a $68 million cash transaction.

The sale includes business units AGI Media, AGI Amaray and AGI Polymatrix, which design packaging for CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray discs and videogames, among other media products. AGI packages include the board-based Digipak and the plastic Amaray case, long employed by movie studios as standard DVD packaging.

The several AGI units employ some 1,450 employees with operations in the U.S., the UK, Austria, France, Ireland, Germany, Poland, the Netherlands and Australia.

MeadWestvaco acquired AGI in 2000 as part of its $500 million purchase of the privately held IMPAC Group. The sale to Atlas Holdings — which is expected to close Sept. 30, 2010 — will result in a pre-tax loss for the company of about $125 million. MeadWestvaco expects to report the results of the global media and entertainment business in the third quarter of 2010 as a discontinued operation.

“We are confident that under Atlas’ ownership, the media and entertainment business will continue to have a market-leading position in this sector,” said John Luke, MeadWestvaco CEO.

Atlas Holdings’ investments span consumer packaging as well as pulp and paper, steel, and building materials. Timothy Fazio, the company’s managing partner said that the AGI acquisition “is very consistent with our investment strategy – the packaging market is a sector we have operated in for more than a decade, AGI is critical to the markets it serves and we have experience transitioning divisions of large companies into viable stand-alone companies.”