Australian packager Amcor acquires US rival Bemis for US$6.8 billion

Australia’s Amcor buying Bemis Co for US$6.8 billion. (Bloomberg pic)

SYDNEY: Australian firm Amcor announced a US$6.8 billion buyout of US rival Bemis Tuesday to become the world’s largest plastic packaging group, and will shift its primary listing to the New York Stock Exchange.

Amcor will issue 5.1 of its shares for each Bemis share under the deal, in a transaction that will see Bemis shareholders holding 29% of the combined company and Amcor the rest.

It represents a 25% premium to Bemis’ closing price of US$46.31 on August 2.

Amcor will have a primary listing on the New York Stock Exchange, but will remain listed in Australia.

Chief executive Ron Delia said the deal made sense in an industry undergoing consolidation.

“The strategic rationale for this combination and the financial benefits are highly compelling for both Amcor and Bemis shareholders,” he said in a statement.

“Amcor identified flexible packaging in the Americas as a key growth priority and this transaction delivers a step change in that region.”

He added that there was an increasing number of opportunities to capitalise on shifting consumer needs and the demand for more responsible packaging solutions that protect the environment.

“The combination of Bemis and Amcor is transformational, bringing together two highly complementary organisations to create a global leader in consumer packaging,” said Bemis chief executive William F. Austen.

“We believe this combination, which is an exciting growth story for both companies, will benefit all stakeholders.”

Amcor produces rigid and flexible packaging for food, beverage, pharmaceutical, medical, home, personal care and other products, operating in 40 countries with more than $9 billion in sales annually.

Bemis, which was established in 1858 and is headquartered in Wisconsin, operates in a similar vein but on a smaller scale, generating US$4 billion in sales last year.

The deal is expected to be concluded in the first quarter of next year.