Good Jobs | May 13, 2021

KKR investment in Charter Next Generation makes all 1,700 employees owners

Roodgally Senatus
ImpactAlpha Editor

Roodgally Senatus

ImpactAlpha, May 13 — Private-equity giant KKR has backed Lexington, Ohio-based Charter Next Generation, one of the largest U.S. producers of specialty films for flexible packaging. The company’s sustainable packaging reduces waste by keeping food fresh longer, and protects goods from heat damage, moisture and more.

KKR joins Leonard Green & Partners and an Abu Dhabi Investment Authority subsidiary as co-owners of the company. The owners have agreed to give CNG’s more than 1,700 employees ownership in the company, which is reportedly valued at $4 billion, debt included.

Charter Next’s Kathy Bolhous says the company is partnering with the three investors “for their steadfast approach to employee engagement and ownership.”


KKR has distributed about a half-billion dollars in dividends and other proceeds to about 20,000 hourly employees of eight companies in its industrial and manufacturing portfolio. Pete Stavros, co-head of the firm’s U.S. private-equity business told ImpactAlpha last year, the strategy was inspired by his father, who worked as an hourly construction worker in Chicago (see, “This private-equity giant has distributed more than $500 million – to hourly employees).

Company conversions

Cajon, Calif.-based guitar manufacturer Taylor Guitars owners transferred ownership to its more than 1,200 employees through an Employee Stock Ownership Program, or ESOP (see, “Canadian pension fund backs Taylor Guitars’ conversion to employee ownership).