Mine's a double: Private equity could get twice £75m it paid for bottle maker

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The Independent Online

James Thompson

The Yorkshire-based firm which makes the bottles for Smirnoff vodka and Grant's whisky could be sold for £150m later this year.

Private-equity group Equistone has hired advisers at Rothschild to review options for Allied Glass, which traces its history back to the 1870s, including a possible sale.

Allied supplies glass containers to Diageo and the eponymous maker of Napolina cooking oil.

The company has benefited from soaring demand for these and other premium brands in emerging markets, including China, India and Russia. This helped the glass-container maker recently smash through the £100m annual sales barrier.

It has hired a French-speaking business-development manager and a multi-lingual sales officer to capitalise on growth opportunities overseas.

Allied Glass, which employs 650 staff, also completed a multi-million pound investment in its manufacturing site in Knottingley, West Yorkshire, including a furnace rebuild, to step up its production last month.

Equistone, which used to be part of Barclays, acquired the glass specialist in a secondary buyout deal worth £75m from CBPE Capital in April 2010. But Allied Glass's recent meteoric growth means that the private-equity firm now hopes to secure a price tag of around double that amount. CBPE had acquired the company from Associated British Foods, the conglomerate behind fashion chain Primark, in 2002.

Allied Glass made operating profit of £11.5m over the year to December 2011. All parties declined to comment.