Media relations at center of Hefty acquisition comms

LAKE FOREST, IL: Media relations was at the center of the communications strategy for Pactiv as the maker of Hefty trash bags was acquired by Reynolds Group in a near-$6 billion deal, including debt.

LAKE FOREST, IL: Media relations was at the center of the communications strategy for Pactiv as the maker of Hefty trash bags was acquired by Reynolds Group in a near-$6 billion deal, including debt.

Matt Gonring, VP and CCO for Pactiv, which is handling communications internally for the deal, said the strategy revolved around managing the rumor mill since the media started discussing the possible acquisition in May.

He said: "The strategy has been to stay in touch, stay connected with the financial business media who have been tracking it, stick to our guns in terms of not commenting publicly, but work to influence things so they are accurate and balanced."

The company, he added, is usually aggressive with social media, but around this deal it simply monitored conversation and tracked discussions online.

Gonring said there are no plans as yet for restructuring or other changes to the two companies' PR and communications teams. Reynolds Group Holdings, owned by New Zealand's Rank Group, did not respond to requests for comment.

"Our messaging now is around the opportunity this portends for the combined businesses, the excitement our CEO and the acquiring entity - Rank - feels in terms of this combination and what a powerhouse it can be in the industry," Gonring said. "We're excited about the prospects for growth and what the combined entities will enable in terms of competitive presence in the packaging space."

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