IPL Plastics eyes European acquisitions after June IPO

By Geoff Percival

IPL Plastics is eyeing a number of acquisition opportunities in continental Europe and is likely to move on them after its long-awaited IPO, which is now set to happen late next month.

Speaking after IPL’s agm in Dublin, chief executive Alan Walsh said the company — formerly known as One 51 — has identified “a couple” of acquisition opportunities “which would give us a meaningful presence in Europe”.

Almost three quarters of IPL’s revenues are generated in North America, with the remainder coming from Europe and Asia. The company has spoken of wanting to re-balance its geographical spread but is also keen to benefit from new opportunities such as the use of plastic packaging for lithium batteries used in electric cars.

It is understood any acquisition would fit into IPL’s environmental solutions/large format packaging and/or returnable packaging solutions divisions, rather than its consumer packaging unit.

At an additional egm, IPL shareholders voted in favour of the formation of a new Canadian holding company, necessary to allow the group’s planned float on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The price range for the IPO — which is expected to raise around €125m — is due to be published early next week.

Mr Walsh said a secondary listing, further down the line and based on acquisition activity in Europe, “is not off the radar completely”. The group recently ditched plans for a Dublin IPO this year, saying a sole listing in Toronto would achieve a higher valuation for the company.

IPL, which saw profits grow by 9% last year and revenues rise 36%, said first quarter earnings for 2018 were up year-on-year and it is targeting around 6%-9% annual earnings and revenue growth out to 2021.

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