M&A activity in the packaging industry remained muted throughout 2023’s first half amid a difficult lending market and COVID-19’s continued impact on supply chains. However, strong strategic activity kept valuations at near-historic highs, particularly for companies demonstrating sustained profitability and growth. Further, our conversations at the recent PACK EXPO conference provide additional reason for optimism heading into next year.

Despite the continuing market dislocation, William Blair’s packaging team remains highly active, advising on eight packaging M&A transactions in 2023 YTD.

Key takeaways:

  • How strategics are looking to synergies to offset slowing organic growth
  • The attraction for stable profitability in today’s uncertain climate
  • Interest in short-run production as well as packaging formats compatible with automated end-of-line processes
  • Environmental sustainability momentum and its long-term impact on the sector
  • Overview of recent William Blair packaging transactions