ATLANTA (News release) -- Graphic Packaging Holding Company , a leading provider of sustainable packaging solutions to food, beverage, foodservice, and other consumer products companies, reported Net Income for first quarter 2021 of $54 million, or $0.19 per share, based upon 277.2 million weighted average diluted shares. This compares to first quarter 2020 Net Loss of $13 million, or $0.04 per share, based upon 288.9 million weighted average diluted shares.
The first quarters of 2021 and 2020 were negatively impacted by a net $11 million and a net $104 million of special charges, respectively, including a net $90 million non-cash charge related to the settlement of a U.S. pension plan in first quarter 2020. The charges are detailed in the Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures table attached. When adjusting for charges, Adjusted Net Income for the first quarter of 2021 was $65 million, or $0.23 per diluted share. This compares to first quarter 2020 Adjusted Net Income of $91 million or $0.31 per diluted share.
Michael Doss, the Company's President and CEO said, "Consumer preferences for sustainable packaging are driving global demand for fiber-based packaging solutions. We are meeting this demand by introducing new innovative products and supporting our customers as we answer the calls from today's consumer. During the first quarter we continued to deliver on our ambitious growth strategy, increasing net organic sales by 2%. Our team's agility and resolve in executing on our commitments to customers, coupled with the competitive advantages of our vertically integrated platform, allow us to provide continuity of supply while managing a challenging supply chain environment. The underlying robust demand environment and resulting volume and pricing momentum we have coming out of the quarter are excellent and position us for a very strong second half of 2021. We are focused on capturing ongoing organic growth from the continued move to more circular and sustainable packaging alternatives and achieving our Vision 2025 for all stakeholders."
Doss added, "Today, I am very pleased to announce our intent to acquire Americraft Carton, a company built on a long history of sustainability and exceptional customer service. Their business philosophy is aligned with how we lead our business. The combination extends our end markets and customer base, further strengthening our position as the leading, integrated paperboard packaging provider in North America."
Americraft Carton, Inc. Acquisition
The Company intends to acquire Americraft Carton, Inc. for approximately $280 million. The proposed acquisition is expected to add approximately $200 million in sales, $30 million in Adjusted EBITDA and significant opportunities for paperboard integration upon completion. Synergies are expected to contribute an additional $10 million of Adjusted EBITDA within 24 months of closing. The transaction includes seven well-capitalized converting facilities and an outstanding team of dedicated employees.