Portola Packaging brings closure to customers' products. The company designs, manufactures, and sells plastic bottles, child-proof closures, and related equipment, used by non-carbonated beverage and institutional food markets for packaging. Its subsidiary Portal Tech International produces stock and custom closures and containers for cosmetics and toiletries. Tapping dairy, water, and juice demand, Portola Packaging supplies tool parts and molding machines, and a line of bottle washers, cappers, and fillers, too. Its lineup is sold under such brand names as ZORK, a screw cap for wine bottles. The company's customers include Avon, Coca-Cola, Estée Lauder, and Kroger. It is owned by Wayzata Investment Partners.
Under Wayzata's wing, Portola Packaging looks to preserve and grow its share in major markets for glass and plastic containers: North America, Europe, and Asia. To this end, the company acquired Tennessee-based Integra-Seal Industries, a closure manufacturer, in spring 2011. The acquisition will pocket Integra-Seals' low-density polyethylene closures, which address various closure needs, particularly for small to mid-sized dairies and water customers. The agreement followed the opening of Portola Tech International's factory in South China. Part of a $5 million operational overhaul, the subsidiary has also doubled capacity at its Czech plant to meet European demand for local suppliers. Portola Packaging's initiatives received a boost in fall 2010; GE Capital is overseeing a $53 million credit facility to fund the company's recapitalization.
Portola Packaging can boast that it has served some of the world's leading cosmetic companies for an average of 20 years. Association with major cosmetic makers that have global distribution systems, such as Avon, and L'Oreal, enhances the packager's reputation and market reach in driving products attached with higher prices for custom services.
Nonetheless, unmanageable raw material costs coupled with overwhelming debt forced the company to enter Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2008. It re-emerged via a pre-arranged deal with private equity investors to buy its $180 million in debt and convert it into equity. Called a "loan-to-own" strategy, the restructuring plan was fueled by $79 million debtor in possession financing, part of which was a bridge loan from Wayzata. Wayzata also stepped up with refinancing for the company's exit financing, gaining ownership at a discount with a recreated capital structure. – less