Ball Corporation completed its acquisition of Rexam PLC for approximately $6.1 billion of cash and equity, plus the assumption of approximately $2.4 billion of net debt — making Ball the largest manufacturer of beverage cans in the world. The company also completed the required sale of the divestment business to Ardagh Group, receiving cash proceeds of approximately $3.1 billion at closing.
“The long journey to today’s announcement only reaffirmed our acquisition rationale,” said John A. Hayes, chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Ball. “Our customers’ global reach and product preferences continue to evolve, and Ball’s ability to create long-term value for our stakeholders rests on our ability to serve our customers anytime, anywhere, and to ensure that the beverage can remains the package of choice among our customers and consumers. Our goal is quite simple: to make the beverage can the most sustainable package — economically, environmentally and socially — in the beverage supply chain.
Ball’s combined global metal beverage business now operates 75 metal beverage manufacturing facilities and joint ventures, as well as various support locations, in North and Central America, Europe and Russia, South America, Asia, and the Middle East. The existing metal food, aerosol, and aerospace operations further complement the company’s business portfolio. Ball now employs 18,700 people across five continents with pro forma net 2015 sales of approximately $11 billion.
The company’s global headquarters will remain in Broomfield, Colorado. The closure of the Rexam headquarters based in London is expected as soon as the relevant functions required to support the combined group have been transferred. It is currently expected that this will be achieved by the end of 2016.
“We’re delighted to move forward together as a leader in the packaging industry, supplying approximately 100 billion innovative, high-quality metal beverage containers from the world’s most efficient manufacturing footprint,” said Hayes. “We will immediately begin integrating the new business into our global metal beverage operations… Through this shared approach, we will drive in excess of $300 million in synergies by the end of the third year of combined operations.”
He added, “All of our employees are poised to execute our integration and synergy capture plans. As part of this, we are immediately initiating a 90-day review of the newly acquired business, including costs, capital, supply logistics, and balance sheet management among others.”