P&M Corporate Finance (“PMCF”) is pleased to announce that it served as the exclusive financial advisor to C.L. Smith Company (“C.L. Smith” or the “Company”) in a sale transaction with Kelso & Company (“Kelso”) and affiliated funds. C.L. Smith will be combined with Kelso’s existing investment in Inmark, a distributor of rigid container and life sciences packaging products.
Founded in 1975, C.L. Smith is a one-stop-shop for rigid packaging distribution, manufacturing, custom design, and hazardous material certification, serving a diverse range of customers and end markets. In addition to the Company’s rigid packaging design, warehousing, and distribution capabilities, C.L. Smith operates Lyons Blow Molding, an extrusion blow molding facility that offers its customers greater flexibility with shorter run lengths, rapid response times, and full customization options. The Company’s HAZPlus® division provides a single source purchasing experience for its customers’ full range of hazardous materials storage and packaging needs, including product certification and testing.
Kelso acquired its interest in C.L. Smith from Nancy Smith who, along with C.L. Smith management, will be investing significant proceeds in connection with the transaction. “C.L. Smith has a long and rich history of providing best-in-class customer service,” said Nancy Smith. “We are excited to partner with Kelso who shares in our passion for customer care, our people, and our culture. These customer-centric values are the root of C.L. Smith’s success and serve as our roadmap for future growth.”
C.L. Smith CEO Sarah Macdonald commented, “C.L. Smith’s significant growth has been made possible by a team of passionate and highly skilled leaders and employees. We are pleased to welcome an experienced investment partner who shares our vision for the expansion of the company into a national packaging provider. Together we will strengthen our customer-focused value proposition and best-in-class service offering.”
“At Kelso, we constantly seek opportunities to partner with experienced operators with successful track records. Sarah Macdonald and the C.L. Smith management team have generated impressive historical performance while further strengthening the company’s differentiated market position. We look forward to working together to continue C.L. Smith’s exceptional growth trajectory,” said Sandy Osborne, Kelso Investment Partner.
C.L. Smith owners selected PMCF, led by John Hart, to serve as their exclusive financial advisor/investment banker in the transaction. “I am so thankful that we had John and the PMCF team as our financial advisor; they were first class in every way. John was very knowledgeable on M&A in the packaging industry and made sure every aspect of this once-in-a-lifetime transaction was handled effectively. I would highly recommend John and the PMCF team to packaging business owners considering a transaction in the short or long-term,” commented Nancy Smith, C.L. Smith Owner.
John Hart, Managing Director and Leader of PMCF’s Packaging Group commented on the transaction, “We were proud to represent C.L. Smith in this marquee packaging distribution transaction. Nancy and her team have built a highly successful packaging business that I had the pleasure to work with over the last 5 years. I can’t say enough about the C.L. Smith team; they were very impressive, and I expect they will do great things in this new partnership with Kelso.”
PMCF is a client-centric middle market investment bank providing merger and acquisition advisory services to privately held shareholders as well as public, and private equity owned companies worldwide. The firm combines expansive industry and transactional expertise with highly engaged, senior-level bankers to create tailored solutions for clients. PMCF has been serving the packaging industry for over 20 years and has a long track record of successful transactions involving specialty, niche players across most segments of the industry. Please visit pmcf.com to learn more.
About C.L. Smith
C.L. Smith is a premier rigid packaging provider with over 45 years of industry experience. Headquartered in St. Louis, MO, C.L. Smith provides full stocking distribution, custom packaging design and manufacturing, and turnkey hazardous material shipping solutions. Exceptional customer care and service are core to C.L. Smith’s operational philosophy and corporate culture. For more information, please visit www.clsmith.com.
About Kelso & Company
Kelso is one of the oldest and most established firms specializing in private equity investing. Since 1980, Kelso has invested over $15 billion of equity capital in 132 transactions. Kelso was founded by the inventor of the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) and, as a result, the principles of partnership and alignment of interest serve as the foundation of the firm’s investment philosophy. Kelso benefits from a successful investment track record, deep sector expertise, a long-tenured and stable investing team, and a reputation as a preferred partner to management teams and corporate partners. Kelso has significant experience investing in and supporting high-growth distribution and packaging platforms. The firm is based in New York, NY. For more information, please visit www.kelso.com.
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