Amcor buys US rival Bemis for $6.8bn

Packaging giant Amcor has agreed to buy US rival Bemis for $6.8 billion in a deal that will strengthen the Australian group’s foothold in the Americas.

The combined group will boast annual revenues of $13bn and earnings of more than £2bn. Amcor will assume Bemis’ $1.5bn of debt. One of the largest acquisitions in the history of the packaging industry, the deal is on par with Ball Corporation’s acquisition of Rexam for a similar fee in 2016.

The all-stock cash free transaction will see Amcor shareholders own 71 per cent while Bemis shareholders will own the remainder of the combined company.

“Amcor identified flexible packaging in the Americas as a key growth priority and this transaction delivers a step change in that region,” said Amcor’s chief executive Ron Delia. “We have always had a great deal of respect for Bemis and we are thrilled that its team in Wisconsin and around the world will be joining Amcor.”

Bemis’ yoghurt cups and frozen food containers will be added to Amcor’s portfolio, while the food packaging films that Bemis produces will enable Amcor to react to shifting consumer preferences, such as snacking and environmental concerns.

Bemis’ chief executive William Austen added: “The combination will enable us to offer global, regional and local customers the most compelling value proposition in the industry through a broader product portfolio, increased product differentiation and enhanced operating capabilities, while leveraging Bemis’ extensive US manufacturing base and strengths in material science and innovation.”

Cost savings of up to $180 million are expected as part of the deal, which is likely to close early next year. It represents the largest deal in Amcor’s nearly 160-year history.

Earlier this year Amcor pledged to develop all recyclable or reusable packaging products by 2025.