London-based private-equity firm The Blackstone Group (www.blackstone.com) signs a contract May 3 to acquire film maker Klöckner Pentaplast (www.kpfilms.com/en/index.asp) for US$1.8 billion. The deal is expected to close next month. The Klöckner Pentaplast Group is a leading producer of films for pharmaceutical, medical-device, food, electronics and general-purpose thermoform packaging, as well as printing and specialty applications. "Klöckner Pentaplast has a strong international market position and performance," says Lionel Assant, managing director of The Blackstone Group. "We will continue to support its aggressive growth and investment strategy." The management of Klöckner Pentaplast will remain in place, Assant adds.