New Zealand's most successful businessman, Graeme Hart, has been named as the mystery bidder behind a US$1.64 billion ($NZ2.01b) bid for a US packaging company, says the Reuters news agency.

Hart is estimated by Forbes to have a net worth of US$5.5 billion, has been making some big purchases over the past few years, as he seeks to increase his global domination of the packaging sector.
Through his privately held Rank Group, Hart is seeking to sell Carter Holt Harvey's New Zealand pulp, paper and packaging assets.

In 2008, Rank bought Alcoa Packaging & Consumer Group for US$2.7 billion, a business it later renamed Reynolds Packaging Group.

Last year Rank paid US$6 billion for the US packaging giant Pactiv, the maker of Hefty bags. That followed from an earlier purchase of the Alcoa Packaging and Consumer group for $US2.7b.

Reuters described Graham as having 2010 sales of US$2.5 billion. It makes plastic containers for consumer products makers such as HJ Heinz, Kraft Foods, Unilever and Coca-Cola.

- NZ HERALD ONLINE