Ardagh poised to become ‘major force in world packaging’ after €1.7bn deal

IRISH bottling company Ardagh Glass has bought international packaging group Impress Co-operative for €1.7 billion, in a deal being described as strategic for the business.

Ardagh has bought Impress – which is ranked as the second largest can manufacturer in Europe – from Doughty Hanson, the private equity house which owns TV3 and which has been in the running to take over the EBS Building Society.

The London-based equity firm will return €688 million of the proceeds from the sale to investors in two of its private equity funds.

Meanwhile, Ardagh which is already ranked as the leading glass manufacturer in the British market and the third largest in Europe, will use the new asset to significantly enhance its overall offering.

Impress counts such household names as Del Monte, John West, Crown Paints and Procter & Gamble among its clients.

The enlarged business will now go under the name Ardagh Packaging Group. It will have annual revenues of more than €3bn, 14,000 employees, 81 operational facilities and leading market positions in 24 countries.

In its current guise, Ardagh employs 6,500 people and has revenues of €1.2bn. It provides glass packaging to the food and beverage industry from 24 facilities in seven countries.

Impress has annual revenues of €1.8bn and has a presence in 22 countries around the world.

According to Ardagh group chairman Paul Coulson: “This is a transformational deal for Ardagh, providing us with global reach and scale.

“The acquisition of Impress will enable Ardagh to become a major force in world packaging.”

While the move opens up an entirely new sector to Ardagh it also gives the business more scope to expand its existing glass packaging business to new territories.

The acquisition is conditional on both EU and US competition authority approval.


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