Shares of Pactiv fall on reports that any buyout deal is still far off for Hefty bag maker

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pactiv falls on reports that buyout not imminent

NEW YORK — Shares of Pactiv Corp. fell Tuesday as reports surfaced that the maker of Hefty trash bags is not close to a buyout deal.

Shares have soared in recent weeks on reports that several companies, including investment firm Apollo Global Management, wanted to make a bid. The stock jumped 35 percent from $22.10 on May 6 to peak at a 52-week high of $29.88 on May 19.

But on Tuesday, in a report citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, The New York Post said that an agreement is not expected anytime soon and that reports of talks between the two sides were premature. Shares of the Lake Forest, Ill., company fell $1.28, or 4.4 percent, to $28.17 in afternoon trading.

Pactiv, which also makes food packaging, disposable tableware and cookware, and Apollo both declined to comment.

In recent weeks, The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, said that paper and packaging company Georgia-Pacific Corp. and New Zealand’s Rank Group had also joined bidding.

Atlanta’s Georgia-Pacific, known for brands such as Quilted Northern, Angel Soft and Dixie, said it would not comment on rumors or speculation. Rank Group, which bought packaging and consumer businesses from Alcoa Inc. in 2008 for $2.7 billion in cash, could not be reached for comment.

The Wall Street Journal has that said analysts expect a deal could be worth more than $4 billion.

Last month, Pactiv lowered its outlook for 2010 because it said it couldn’t pass on higher raw material costs until the second half of the year. Pactiv’s revenue in 2009 totaled $3.4 billion.

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