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CHICAGO, Aug 16, 2004 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Piper Jaffray today released Corrugated Containers: A Mergers and Acquisitions Review, written by Doug Lawson, vice president and investment banker in the Middle Market Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) Group at Piper Jaffray. In the report, Lawson provides an overview of the corrugated container market, including industry characteristics, end markets and major participants. In addition, he reviews M&A value drivers, transaction activity and valuation metrics.

The corrugated container market is one of the largest sectors of the packaging industry. Corrugated containers are typically used to protect, ship, store, market and display products. The market has grown at a compound annual growth rate of 2.7 percent since 1992 (based on the value of corrugated shipments), although the market has contracted in each of the past three years. Domestic growth for the corrugated container market is projected at approximately three percent annually through 2007. Factors affecting the level of growth include: (i) the state of the economy, (ii) offshore competition and (iii) competing products. Historically, corrugated container demand has moved with changes in gross domestic product (GDP); however, more recently corrugated container demand has been more closely associated with non-durable goods production.

According to Lawson, the corrugated container market has experienced significant consolidation in recent years. He believes the consolidation of the market will continue, with the large integrated companies remaining the most active acquirers.

"Acquisitions will continue to be driven by opportunities to expand geographical presence, fill mill capacity and add capabilities and customers," said Lawson. "We do not expect to see significant private equity involvement in the sector. We anticipate that the majority of corrugated container companies will be sold in the five to seven times EBITDA range; however, companies with certain characteristics will attract higher valuations."

Corrugated Containers: A Mergers and Acquisitions Review is the latest in a series of reports by the Piper Jaffray Middle Market M&A Group that explore M&A in the packaging industry. Other reports published by Doug Lawson and his team include:

In addition, Piper Jaffray publishes a monthly packaging M&A newsletter.

To subscribe to the newsletter or to request a copy of Corrugated Containers: A Mergers and Acquisitions Review, or any of the aforementioned reports, please contact Doug Lawson at douglas.j.lawson@pjc.com or 312-920-2139.

Piper Jaffray & Co. is the chief operating subsidiary of Piper Jaffray Companies (NYSE: PJC), a focused securities firm dedicated to delivering superior financial advice, investment products and transaction execution within selected sectors of the financial services marketplace. The company operates through two primary revenue-generating segments: Capital Markets and Private Client Services. Investment Research, an independent group reporting to the CEO, supports clients of both segments. Piper Jaffray & Co. has served corporations, government and non-profit entities, institutional investors and the financial advisory needs of private individuals for more than 108 years. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Piper Jaffray has approximately 3,000 employees in 111 offices in 23 states across the country and in London. For more information about Piper Jaffray, visit us online at http://www.piperjaffray.com .

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SOURCE Piper Jaffray & Co.

Dana Wade, Public Affairs and Media Relations of Piper Jaffray, +1-415-277-1556

http://www.piperjaffray.com