Shares of Pactiv rise on reports more bidders are interested in Hefty trash bag maker

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Pactiv shares up on reports of more bidders

NEW YORK — Shares of Pactiv Corp. soared again Wednesday as reports surfaced that several companies wanted to buy the maker of Hefty trash bags.

Shares of the Lake Forest, Ill., company rose $1.78, or 6.3 percent, to $29.68 in midday trading Wednesday. Earlier in the session the stock set a new 52-week high of $29.71.

Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, said Pactiv is in buyout talks with investment firm Apollo Global Management. The news sent shares soaring.

On Wednesday, the paper reported, again citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, that Georgia-Pacific Corp., a paper and packaging company, and Rank Group, from New Zealand have also joined bidding.

Both Pactiv and Apollo declined to comment to The Associated Press.

Georgia-Pacific, which is based in Atlanta, said it did not comment on rumors or speculation. The company is known for brands such as Quilted Northern, Angel Soft and Dixie.

Rank Group could not be reached. Rank Group bought the packaging and consumer businesses from Alcoa Inc. in 2008 fro $2.7 billion in cash.

The Wall Street Journal said analysts expect the deal could be worth more than $4 billion if it closes.

Last month, Pactiv posted a 38 percent drop in first-quarter profit on higher raw materials costs due to the price of oil. The company lowered its outlook for 2010 because it said it couldn’t pass on the higher raw material costs until the second half of the year. Pactiv’s revenue in 2009 was $3.4 billion.

Pactiv makes foodservice, food packaging, disposable tableware and cookware, besides the Hefty line of products.

will not be displayed