Crown Holdings To Sell 80% Of European Tinplate Business To KPS Capital For €1.9B

Crown Holdings will sell 80% of its European Tinplate business to KPS Capital Partners for €1.9 billion (pre-tax) but will retain a 20% stake in the business. Last year, the maker of metal beverage and food cans European Tinplate business earned revenues of €1.9 billion and had a standalone EBITDA of €220 million.

The acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter of this year and Crown Holdings (CCK) expects to use the net proceeds for debt reduction, capital project funding and share repurchases over time. KPS Capital Partners has valued the European Tinplate business at $2.7 billion.

Crown Holdings’ President and CEO, Timothy J. Donahue commented, “We are very pleased that the European Tinplate business will have a strong owner in KPS Capital Partners to support future profitable growth and innovation initiatives. We are excited to retain a minority stake in the business alongside KPS as Crown shareholders will benefit from the KPS team and its track record of owning manufacturing companies and creating tremendous value.”

CCK’s European Tinplate business consists of 44 manufacturing facilities across 17 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa with around 6,300 employees.

CCK expects an estimated pro forma adjusted net leverage ratio of 2.9x (excluding all FY21 EBITDA related to the European Tinplate business) as compared to 3.9x at the end of FY21 assuming all the net proceeds from the sale are used to pay-off debt. (See Crown Holdings stock analysis on TipRanks)

Following the sale announcement, KeyBanc analyst Adam Josephson reiterated a Hold on the stock. Josephson commented on the sale, “It’s unclear to us why Crown would keep 20% of the business, nor do we know what the after-tax proceeds will be compared to the disclosed pre-tax proceeds of €1.9 billion.”

“Assuming ~15% tax leakage, the implied after-tax multiple would be modestly below 9.0x, compared to Crown’s purchase price of Mivisa of 9.0x pre-synergies seven years ago and recent N.A. food can transactions at ~9.0x as well; the Company didn’t disclose the anticipated tax leakage or other transaction costs…We expect a positive reaction to this news, even with the obvious questions that we’ve raised,” Josephson added.

Overall, the rest of the Street is bullish on the stock with a Strong Buy consensus rating based on 8 Buys and 1 Hold. The average analyst price target of $123.50 implies that CCK shares have a 21.1% upside potential to current levels.

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