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2020 Agenda

Smithers and L.E.K Consulting are excited to announce the agenda for The Future of Packaging 2020.

Additional panelists coming soon!

2020 Agenda

Registration and Coffee

  1. Registration

Morning Session

  1. Opening Remarks

  2. Keynote To Be Determined

  3. Networking Break

  4. Panel #1: Packaging M&A: Where is it headed?

    Evercore, The Jordan Company, Tekni-Plex and Morgan Stanley

    Packaging has been a highly active sector for M&A over the past 2-3+ years, with active M&A involvement from both private equity and corporate buyers. On this panel, we’ll hear from corporate M&A, private equity, and banker panelists on how the packaging M&A environment is changing, and how to win, including:

    • Deal supply: What is changing in the calculus for whether or not sellers go to market, what at the practical steps sellers need to do to prep a company for sale (e.g., EBITDA adjustments, management prep, sell-side market studies), what is the outlook for the backlog, and how do these answers differ for larger vs. smaller deals?
    • Deal demand: What characteristics are driving increased interest levels from PE and corporate buyers, what is the impact on the outlook for valuations, how are diligence issue focal points changing
    • Deal process: How the process is changing (e.g., shortening cycles) and why, how are buyers adjusting to the deal process changes, and what are the “watch-out” issues that drives deals getting stuck
    • Deal competition: What does it take for corporates to win against PE, and what it takes for PE to win against corporates?
    • Deal terms: Where are we in the cycle and what are expectations for multiples going forward? Where are we in terms of public and private company valuations and where do we see gaps tightening or widening? What are packaging sectors where we see trading multiple expansion opportunities and which sectors do we think are likely to suffer from multiple compression?
  5. Networking Break

  6. Panel #2: Meeting sustainability goals: How are brands' strategies evolving?

    Brand owners’ Environmental, Sustainability, Governance (ESG) goals have been publically announced with target timing set around 2025. These goals include substantial commitments that require step-changes in packaging needs. On this panel, we’ll hear from brands of consumer packaged goods and foodservice operators on how their packaging needs are evolving, including:

    • How brands define their long-term sustainable packaging goals, and why they are defined in that way
    • What approaches brand owners are currently betting on to drive sustainability goals in packaging (e.g., down-gauging / packaging material minimization, biodegradable substrates, renewable / bio-based materials, partial recycled-content, full recycled-content, recyclability, re-usable formats), and why
    • The pros / cons of each approach
    • How this may differ by packaging format (e.g., containers & labels, trays & clamshells)
    • Why it is critical for brands to address renewable packaging goals now
    • Who benefits from brands meeting their long-term renewable packaging goals
    • Internal operating challenges and external challenges brand owners face in pursuing renewable packaging goals
    • What brand owners need from their packaging providers to achieve their goals
    • How brands expect their path to pursuing their long-term renewable packaging goals to play out over the next 5-10 years
  7. Lunch

Afternoon Session

  1. Panel #3: U.S. recycling and sustainability: Key ways converters are satisfying brand owner packaging demands

    The U.S. recycling infrastructure is in a state of crisis, characterized by low recovery rates, insufficient sortation, and China’s 2018 decision to no longer accept U.S. post-consumer waste for recycling. On this panel, we’ll hear from packaging converters and other packaging value chain participants on where the opportunities are to meet evolving brand owner packaging demands in the context of a U.S. recycling infrastructure crisis, including:

    • What is the current state of the U.S. recycling infrastructure crisis and how we got here
    • Where the current pockets of investment are to improve the U.S. recycling infrastructure
    • What the challenges are barriers are that still need to be solved, and how will it be funded
    • What do converters see as the key opportunities to meet evolving brand owner needs with regards to sustainability
    • Which substrate / packaging format is best positioned to gain share and why
    • How does improving the U.S. recycling infrastructure change the game for packaging converters
  2. Networking Break

  3. Panel #4: Innovation in packaging: Pinpointing opportunities and threats

    Innovation and technology advancement in packaging are reshaping how the packaging value chain operates, and how the end consumer engages with branded products. On this panel, we’ll hear from innovation & technology experts on the most exciting innovations (e.g., substrate, format, digital) could drive sources of value for packaging companies and brand owners, including:

    • The most relevant innovations & technologies for packaging over the next 5-10 years
    • The potential impact for each innovation & technology on the packaging value chain and the consumer experience
    • Where each innovation & technology is along the “S-curve”
    • Practical barriers to adoption across each step of the value chain
    • Outlook for how each innovation & technology will evolve along the penetration curve over the next 5-10 years
  4. Closing Remarks

  5. Evening Reception