Amcor could wrap up Bemis deal

Australian packaging giant Amcor could be finalising its $7bn plus acquisition of US competitor Bemis this week, settling negotiations that have been running for around a year.

The deal is understood to be in advanced talks, and could result in Amcor becoming the largest worldwide producer of flexible packaging, along with giving it a US listing. The Australian firm is currently in a trading halt on the ASX.

Amcor first approached Bemis around a year ago but the two businesses were not able to agree on a price.

Bemis has been valued at around US$4.2bn. The company based in Wisconsin, has 57 packaging plants across 12 countries, with its Australasian flexible packaging plant located at the Gold Coast. Bemis mostly operates within the US, making flexible and rigid plastic packaging materials for food, consumer and medical products.

[Related: Amcor profits up as sales slip]

In its half year results in February, Amcor reported it generated profits of US$329.7m, up 3.7 per cent on a constant currency basis from $308.6m the year before. Sales were at US$4.5bn, slipping 1.7 per cent on a constant currency basis the year before. Flexibles overall rose to $3.1bn from $3.09bn over the prior corresponding p, while rigid plastics dropped to $1.37bn from $1.33bn.

If settled, the acquisition will follow Amcor’s other purchases worldwide for the last decade including South American packaging group Alusa in 2016 for $567m and Alcan packaging for $1.9bn from Rio Tinto in 2009.

Amcor’s Australasian packaging and distribution was split into a separate company, Orora, in 2013.

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