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LAKE FOREST, Illinois (


) --



, the maker of Hefty trash bags, is expected to soon announce an agreement to be acquired by New Zealand's

Rank Group

, the

Wall Street Journal

reports, citing a person familiar with the matter.

The deal is expected to price in the mid-$30 per-share range, said the person. Pactiv shares closed Monday at $30.92 a share but rose to $33 a share after-hours after a news report about Rank's advanced talks.

Pactiv's market capitalization is around $4.1 billion and total debt is about $1.5 billion, the

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Rank Group appears to have beat out rival paper and packaging company

Koch Industries

and private-equity firm Apollo Global Management, the person said, the



The deal was still being finalized Monday and could fall apart, the newspaper notes.

Rank Group is owned by Graeme Hart, a wealthy New Zealander. Rank Group makes Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil and other products.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel in New York.

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