Graham Packaging Gets $50 Million to Reduce Debt, Fund Continued Growth; Volumes `Strong' in 1st Quarter

Apr 02, 2001, 01:00 ET from Graham Packaging Company, L.P.

    YORK, Pa., April 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Graham Packaging Holdings Company,
 parent company of Graham Packaging Company, L.P., announced today that its
 equity owners -- which include affiliates of Blackstone Capital Partners III
 Merchant Banking Fund, L.P., and the Graham family -- will contribute
 $50 million in new equity.
     "This additional equity investment will improve liquidity, reduce
 leverage, satisfy the remaining capital call obligation under the company's
 current credit agreements, and provide additional funding for growth," said
 Howard Lipson, senior managing director of Blackstone.  "The equity owners
 remain confident in the continued growth and overall success of the company."
     This investment follows a similar $50 million infusion made by the equity
 owners in the fall of 2000.
     Graham Packaging had $825 million in sales in 2000, an increase of
 15 percent over 1999, according to its 10-K annual report filed with the U.S.
 Securities and Exchange Commission.
     "Despite our continued growth, the second half of 2000 was disappointing
 due to general economic conditions, operating issues in our European business,
 and a delayed ramp-up of several projects, primarily in our U.S. Food and
 Beverage Business Unit," said Philip R. Yates, CEO of Graham Packaging.
     Yates added, however, that, "Volumes in the first quarter of 2001 have
 been strong compared to the first quarter of 2000.  We also feel good about
 the measures we have taken over the past six months to address some of the
 recent issues in our business, principally in Europe.  In the end, there is
 significant opportunity in our business, and I feel our strategy and position
 in our industry will allow us to continue to grow.  Furthermore, we appreciate
 our owners' continued support, most recently evidenced by the additional
 equity infusion."
 
     Graham Packaging, based in York, is a worldwide leader in the design,
 manufacture, and sale of customized blow-molded plastic containers for the
 branded food and beverage, household and personal care, and automotive
 lubricants markets with 60 plants throughout North America, Europe, and Latin
 America.
 
 

SOURCE Graham Packaging Company, L.P.
    YORK, Pa., April 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Graham Packaging Holdings Company,
 parent company of Graham Packaging Company, L.P., announced today that its
 equity owners -- which include affiliates of Blackstone Capital Partners III
 Merchant Banking Fund, L.P., and the Graham family -- will contribute
 $50 million in new equity.
     "This additional equity investment will improve liquidity, reduce
 leverage, satisfy the remaining capital call obligation under the company's
 current credit agreements, and provide additional funding for growth," said
 Howard Lipson, senior managing director of Blackstone.  "The equity owners
 remain confident in the continued growth and overall success of the company."
     This investment follows a similar $50 million infusion made by the equity
 owners in the fall of 2000.
     Graham Packaging had $825 million in sales in 2000, an increase of
 15 percent over 1999, according to its 10-K annual report filed with the U.S.
 Securities and Exchange Commission.
     "Despite our continued growth, the second half of 2000 was disappointing
 due to general economic conditions, operating issues in our European business,
 and a delayed ramp-up of several projects, primarily in our U.S. Food and
 Beverage Business Unit," said Philip R. Yates, CEO of Graham Packaging.
     Yates added, however, that, "Volumes in the first quarter of 2001 have
 been strong compared to the first quarter of 2000.  We also feel good about
 the measures we have taken over the past six months to address some of the
 recent issues in our business, principally in Europe.  In the end, there is
 significant opportunity in our business, and I feel our strategy and position
 in our industry will allow us to continue to grow.  Furthermore, we appreciate
 our owners' continued support, most recently evidenced by the additional
 equity infusion."
 
     Graham Packaging, based in York, is a worldwide leader in the design,
 manufacture, and sale of customized blow-molded plastic containers for the
 branded food and beverage, household and personal care, and automotive
 lubricants markets with 60 plants throughout North America, Europe, and Latin
 America.
 
 SOURCE  Graham Packaging Company, L.P.