Packaging Corporation of America and Boise announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which PCA will acquire all of the outstanding common shares of Boise for $12.55 per share in cash, for an aggregate transaction value of $1.995 billion, inclusive of $714 million of outstanding indebtedness of Boise. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2013 with committed debt financing, but is subject to certain customary conditions and regulatory approvals.
The combined companies generated $5.5 billion in sales and $879 million in EBITDA (excluding special items) in the last twelve months ended June 30, 2013 (LTM). The combined packaging business generated 75% of sales and 83% of EBITDA over the period, with the remainder generated by Boise's paper business.
PCA's containerboard capacity will increase to 3.7 million tons from its current level of 2.6 million tons (a 42% increase) including the announced expansion of paper machine number 2 (D2) at Boise's DeRidder mill. PCA's corrugated products volume will increase by about 30% as a result of the acquisition, and PCA's market presence will expand into the Pacific Northwest.
Synergies are estimated to generate pre-tax benefits of approximately $105 million and are expected to be fully realized within three years of closing. The synergies are projected to come from mill grade optimization, sales mix and cost reductions, lower transportation costs, corrugated products optimization, and SG&A cost reductions.
The purchase price represents a multiple of 6.7 times adjusted LTM EBITDA of $297 million (excluding special items) and including the $105 million in benefits from synergies, the purchase price represents a multiple of 5.0 times LTM EBITDA. The acquisition is expected to be accretive to earnings immediately.
PCA Executive Chairman Paul Stecko said, "The acquisition is an excellent fit, both geographically and strategically, with unique and substantial synergies. It provides the containerboard that PCA needs to support our strong corrugated products growth. The DeRidder containerboard mill is low cost, located in a very good wood basket and, after the D2 machine conversion, provides almost one million tons of primarily lightweight containerboard. The combined company is expected to generate strong financial results and strong cash flow which will be used to pay down debt as well as to continue to return value to our shareholders."
PCA Chief Executive Officer Mark Kowlzan added, "This acquisition allows us to apply our operating and sales expertise across a much larger system and provides significant growth potential. We look forward to working with the employees of Boise as we integrate our businesses. I am confident, that together, we will achieve significant operating benefits."
Boise Board Chair Carl Albert said, "Our Board and management team have thoroughly evaluated a broad range of strategic options for Boise, and we believe this transaction is the best way to maximize value for our shareholders."
Boise Chief Executive Officer Alexander Toeldte said, "PCA's desire to acquire Boise is a testament to the performance delivered and dedication shown by our employees in our five years as a public company, and the value we have created in a very challenging economic environment. We have been committed to serving our customers with distinction and this transaction will enhance opportunities for even stronger customer service."
Under the terms of the definitive agreement, an affiliate of PCA is required to commence a tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of Boise's common stock for $12.55 per share in cash. The boards of directors of both Boise and PCA have unanimously approved the agreement. Boise's board of directors expects to recommend that shareholders tender their shares into the offer once it is launched. The tender offer is required to be commenced within 10 calendar days and to remain open for at least 20 business days after launch. Any shares not tendered in the offer will be acquired in a second step merger at the same cash price as in the tender offer.
BofA Merrill Lynch acted as exclusive financial advisor to PCA and provided committed financing for the transaction. J.P. Morgan Securities LLC acted as exclusive financial advisor to Boise. Mayer Brown LLP acted as legal counsel to PCA, and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP acted as legal counsel to Boise.