On March 1, 2004, Solo acquired Sweetheart Cup Company for $917. 2 million, in part with public debt. Sweetheart was founded by Joseph Shapiro and his four brothers, emigrants from Russia. It became the largest consumer packaging company in the world and was sold several times before being acquired by Solo Cup. Following the acquisition, Solo Cup's finances suffered, and Standard & Poor's lowered their credit rating from B to CCC+. In late 2006, Solo Cup was reported to be $1. 1 billion in debt.
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