Constantia buys Tobepal from Amcor

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: European commission, Rio tinto group, Amcor

Austria’s Constantia Packaging will pay Amcor €92m ($118m) for its Spanish Tobepal flexible packaging business.

Sale of the unit, which has pharmaceutical, personal care and food packaging operations in Logrono and Burgos in the north of Spain, was a requirement for European Commission approval of Amcor’s $2bn acquisition​ of Alcan.

A Constantia spokeswoman declined to provide in-Pharmatechnologist with further information on the planned deal but did indicate that market growth was a key driver.

Amcor issued a brief statement confirming that the proposed acquisition, which is scheduled to complete in the next few months, has been approved by the commission’s competition watchdog.

Speaking last December​ when details of the EC Tobepal divestiture requirement emerged, Amcor said the unit generated annual revenues of some €110m a year

European felxibles growth

Australia-headquartered Amcor bought Tobepal in 2002, at the time explaining that the Spanish firm's 25 per cent share of its national market and strength in the pharmaceutical and cosmetics sectors were important drivers for the investment.

These factors are also likely to have been a key consideration for Constantia given that flexible packaging, the firm's biggest earning business unit, has seen revenue fall 3 per cent to €247m in the first three months of 2010.

The deal also fits with the growth-through-acquisition strategy that, earlier this year, saw Constantia’s subsidiary Duropack buy a controlling stake in Croatian paper and corrugated cardboard firm Belisce.

US acquisition

The Tobepal sale and reduction in European flexibles capacity is a direct contrast with Amcor’s activities in the US where, earlier this month, it completed the $66m acquisition of Rio Tinto’s medical flexibles business.

The deal, cleared by US authorities in June, adds US flexibles manufacturing, sales and distribution capacity to Amcor’s offering.

The US unit is the last Alcan operation that mining group Rio Tinto plans to divest after Sun European Partners bought​ the firm's beauty division earlier this year.

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