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CHICAGO -August 25, 2003-U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray (Piper Jaffray) today released Caps and Closures: A Mergers and Acquisitions Review, written by Doug Lawson, vice president in Piper Jaffray's Middle Market Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) Group. In the report, Lawson provides an overview of the caps and closures market, including trends, raw materials, end markets and major participants. In addition, he reviews M&A value drivers, transaction activity and valuation metrics.

Primarily produced from plastic or metal, caps and closures are typically used to keep products fresh, prevent leakage and ensure safety. The caps and closures market represents approximately 4.5 percent of the $420 billion global packaging market. Lawson believes growth in the caps and closures market is expected to exceed gross domestic product (GDP) growth as a result of an increase in higher value-added packaging, continued conversion to plastic from metal and glass and an increase in demand for single serve containers.

According to Lawson, more than 100 firms participate in the fragmented caps and closures market, although few have sales over $100 million. The top five caps and closures producers account for approximately 33 percent of the domestic market, with the next five accounting for approximately 16 percent.

"The caps and closures market is highly fragmented and offers substantial opportunity for consolidation in coming years," said Lawson. "There have been more than 40 mergers and acquisitions over the past few years in which all or a portion of the target's business included caps and closures. Likely acquirers in coming years are larger packaging companies that either already have caps and closures operations or are seeking to diversify their packaging product portfolio."

In addition, Lawson believes private equity groups, many of whom have significant capital to invest and like the dynamics of the packaging industry, will be likely to pursue opportunities in the caps and closures market. Valuations based on comparable companies and M&A transactions are in the range of 5.5 to 7.5 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA).

Caps and Closures: A Mergers and Acquisitions Review is the latest in a series of reports on the packaging industry distributed by Piper Jaffray's Middle Market M&A Group. Others recent reports published by Doug Lawson and the packaging team include:
· Valuations in the Packaging Industry (May, 2003).
· Packaging Industry Public Acquirers - Earnings per Share Accretion/Dilution Considerations (March, 2003).
· Mergers and Acquisitions: Value Drivers for Companies in the Packaging Industry (February, 2003).
· Mergers and Acquisitions Activity in the Packaging Industry - 2002 Year in Review (February 2003).

In addition, in February of this year Piper Jaffray launched a monthly packaging M&A newsletter. To subscribe to the newsletter or to receive a copy of Caps and Closures: A Mergers and Acquisitions Review, or any of the aforementioned reports, clients and members of the media should contact Dana Wade at or 415-277-1556.

U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, a subsidiary of the consolidated group of U.S. Bancorp, is a focused securities firm comprised of two revenue-generating segments -- Capital Markets and Private Client Services. Clients of both segments are supported by Investment Research, an independent group reporting to the CEO. The firm provides a full range of investment products and services to individuals, institutions and businesses. The firm has over 124 offices in 25 states across the country. U.S. Bancorp offers a comprehensive range of financial solutions through U.S. Bank, U.S. Bancorp Asset Management, U.S. Bancorp Investments and U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray. For more information on U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, visit