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Ardagh acquires Florida-based packaging firm Anchor for €721m

Irish glass and packaging group Ardagh has acquired the Florida-based company, Anchor Glass Container Corporation, for $880 million (€721m).

The deal still requires US regulatory approval, but is expected to be formally completed by the end of next month.

Ardagh has been active in the north American packaging sector since late 2010, when it bought international metal packaging giant Impress.

However, its first foray into the US glass packaging sector only came earlier this year through the €151m takeover of New Jersey-based Leone Industries.

The Anchor deal is the Irish company’s second American glass purchase and effectively gives it a 25% stake of the US glass packaging market.

It will also mean that around one-quarter of Ardagh Group’s annual operating earnings will come from the US.

Ardagh chairman Paul Coulson said the deal will add scale and value to the group’s global packaging franchise, adding that it represents "an important milestone" for the Irish business.

"The acquisition of Anchor will increase the size of our glass business by almost 50% and is a very significant step in developing our operations in the US," Mr Coulson added.

Headquartered in Tampa, Anchor makes technologically advanced glass containers for the north American food and beverage industry.

The company is the third largest glass container maker in the US, producing around 5.6 billion containers from eight facilities a year; employing 2,700 staff and generating annual revenues of around $800m.

Ardagh also updated on its current trading performance, yesterday, saying that it expects to see slightly improved second-quarter revenues, but an annualised mid-to-high single-digit percentage fall in earnings.

Despite "a generally difficult trading environment," the company added, "materially stronger operating cashflow generation" is anticipated for the three-month period to the end of June, when compared to the same period last year.