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Wilmington Firm's Portfolio Company Completes Acquisition

By Christina Haley O'Neal, posted Mar 4, 2020
One of a Wilmington-based private equity firm's portfolio companies has acquired a Florida firm.

South Atlantic Packaging Corp. (SAPC) in Winston-Salem, a contract packaging company that offers an array of packaging, kitting, assembly and warehousing solutions, bought Tampa, Florida-based Versatile Packagers, according to a news release.

The terms of the sale were not disclosed. Tidewater Equity Partners of Wilmington was heavily involved with the acquisition, said Merrette Moore, the company's founder and managing partner.

The deal, which will add to SAPC’s revenue and profitability, is the first since Tidewater Equity Partner's acquisition of SAPC in 2017, stated the release.

Versatile Packagers is a custom packaging and warehouse provider of turnkey solutions, stated the release.

The acquisition of Versatile Packagers was strategic for the overall growth of SAPC, Moore said, adding that it also provides a good location for the packaging firm.

“The industry is certainly consolidating rapidly for a lot of reasons. What’s happening is that the mom-and pop-sized businesses in this industry are finding it hard to continue to be in business and they need to find a partner to either work with, or for somebody to acquire them ... and so, we’ve been looking for other companies to buy so that we can be a consolidator, instead of the consolidated,” Moore said Wednesday.

The acquisition of Versatile Packagers brings SAPC’s total employee count to about 75 people, he said.

SAPC has been pursuing acquisition opportunities to augment its organic growth and to potentially broaden its service offerings, stated the release.

The recent acquisition by SAPC adds to a record-year performance in 2019, in terms of both revenue and operating earnings since the original company’s inception in 2000, stated the release.

“The Tidewater team is pleased with South Atlantic’s performance in 2019, commending the company’s management team and staff for their hard work,” Moore said in the release.

“Under Tidewater management, SAPC has more than doubled both its revenue and operating profits,” officials said in the release.

Tidewater Equity Partners has four full-time employees and a group of eight advisers who work with the firm on an as-needed basis, Moore said. The company formed in Wilmington in late 2016.

Tidewater Equity Partners manages three other portfolio companies: two in the Raleigh-Durham area and another in Atlanta, he said.

“The SAPC story has been a positive one for everyone involved,” Moore said in the release. “From the sellers, to the company’s management team, to the employees, to the Tidewater staff and our investors, this has been a win all the way around. That said, there is still considerable work to do and there are many objectives left to accomplish. We are very confident, though, that we will get the job done.”
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