Greif Acquires Lee Container

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Greif Acquires Lee Container
A group of bottles used for lubricant products. © Sergey Ryzhov

Industrial packaging supplier Greif Inc. said last week that it has reached a $300 million deal to acquire Lee Container Corp., a producer of blow-molded jerrycans and other containers used for lubricants and other industries.

Greif, which is a major supplier of steel and plastic drums to the lubricants industry, said the acquisition increase its sales of smaller plastic containers.

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“The Lee acquisition solidifies our commitment to growing our jerrycan and small plastic bottle footprint and adds a further growth engine to our [generic inventory packaging] business,” Greif President and CEO Ole Rosgaard said in a news release.

Greif is headquartered in Delaware, Ohio, and supplies a wide variety of industrial packaging products and services, from steel and plastic drums to intermediate bulk containers, boxes, packaging closures and paperboard. It also supplies jerrycans but does not specialize in them as Lee does.

Lee is based in Homerville, Georgia, and employs 500 people in North America. It makes blow-molded plastic containers ranging in size from 1 quart to 5 gallons. Other than the lubricants industry it supplies them mainly to the agricultural, specialty chemical and pet care industries. Officials said Lee’s customers are largely fast-growing companies.

Lee reported sales of $162 million and earnings of $33 million for the 12 months ended Sept. 30. Grief had sales of $5.6 billion and earnings of $391 million for the fiscal year ended Oct. 31.

The companies said they expect the deal to close by the end of this year.