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Graeme Hart's Rank Group in talks to buy Pactiv

Tuesday 17th August 2010

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Billionaire Graeme Hart’s investment company Rank Group is in talks to acquire Pactiv Corp. to add to its global packaging empire, Bloomberg News reported.

Shares of Lake Forest, Illinois-based Pactiv, the maker of Hefty trash bags, closed at US$30.92 on the New York Stock Exchange yesterday, valuing the company at US$4.15 billion. It subsequently jumped 6.2% in after-hours trading.

A deal may be announced as soon as this week, the report said. Apollo Global Management and Koch Industries have also expressed interest in Pactiv and could still be contenders if talks with Rank falter, it said.

Hart would be able to combine Pactiv, which makes everything from food containers to trash bags with his existing packaging business, Beverage Packaging Holdings, which acquired Reynolds Consumer Producers and bottle-cap maker Closure Systems International last year.

Pactiv shares soared about 18% in May after the Wall Street Journal reported that Georgia- Pacific and Rank were interested in acquiring the company.

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