Pactiv, Hefty Trash Bag Maker, In $4.4 Billion Takeover with AP and Reuters

Global packaging company Reynolds Group says it's agreed to pay about $4.4 billion for Pactiv, maker of the Hefty brand trash bags, further consolidating the competitive food packaging industry.

With debt included, the deal is valued at around $6 billion.

Pactiv shares were up sharply on the New York Stock Exchange.

Pactiv had been shopping itself, though it had been thought a private equity firm was the most likely buyer.

Pactiv said Tuesday its board unanimously agreed to the offer and the company plans to hold a shareholder meeting to vote on the deal "as soon as practicable."

The deal is expected to close, pending filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, by the end of the year.

The deal comes less than a month after Pactiv said its quarterly profit slipped on high raw material costs and guided for a third-quarter profit below expectations.

Reynolds is a subsidiary of New Zealand-based Rank Group, which itself is owned by billionaire investor Graeme Hart. In 2008, Hart bought the Reynolds business from Alcoa .

Rank Group will help finance the deal, along with affiliates of Credit Suisse, HSBC and Australia New Zealand Bank. Credit Suisse advised Pactiv on the deal.