Amcor-Aperio flexible packaging merger gets go-ahead despite initial competition concerns

By Mark Astley

- Last updated on GMT

Amcor expects to complete the acquistion later this year.
Amcor expects to complete the acquistion later this year.

Related tags: Flexible packaging, Mergers and acquisitions

Amcor has been given the go-ahead to complete its acquisition of flexible packaging manufacturer Aperio by Australian authorities – despite earlier competition concerns.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) announced that it will not intervene in Amcor’s proposed A$238m (€185.5m, $247.4m) takeover of the Aperio Group, announcing that the merger “would not result in a substantial lessening of competition in any market.”

The twice delayed decision followed an ACCC-published Statement of Issues which outlined the preliminary competition concerns surrounding the acquisition.

Amcor, which has more than 300 sites in 42 countries, hopes to boost its presence in Australia, New Zealand and Thailand – where Aperio has expanding operations.

The approval came just days after Amcor announced the A$19.8m (€15.6m, $20.7m) acquisition of India-based flexible packaging manufacturer Uniglobe.

The transaction is expected to close in June 2012 quarter, said an Amcor statement.

Extensive investigation

“After an extensive investigation, including the publication of a Statement of Issues on 23 February 2012, the ACCC formed the view that the proposed acquisition would not result in a substantial lessening of competition in any market,”​ said an ACCC statement.

A large number of interested parties, including Australia-based and overseas flexible packaging manufacturers, were consulted as part of the ACCC review.

“The ACCC carefully considered the likely competition effects of the proposed acquisition in the national market for value-added flexible packaging, which includes packaging for goods such as confectionary, biscuits, bread and frozen foods,”​ the statement added.

The authority considered that even if the merged companies attempted to increase prices of value-added flexible packaging or decrease service levels, competitors would still be able to attract business and win a market share from the merged firm.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims said: “In making its decision, the ACCC considered that there will be a number of competitors to Amcor Limited, particularly overseas manufacturers of value-added flexible packaging, as this type of packaging is general easy to transport and import levels are increasing.”

“Important strategic opportunity”

“This is a pleasing outcome as the acquisition represents an important strategic opportunity for our Asia Pacific flexible packaging business. We look forward to integrating these assets into the Amcor Group and working with our customers to deliver an improved product and service offering, particularly through innovation,” ​said Amcor manager director and CEO Ken MacKenzie.

An Aperio statement said: “The acquisition of Aperio by Amcor brings together the two leaders in flexible packaging in Australasia and Aperio’s Thailand business will be an important strategic addition to Amcor’s existing flexible packaging business in Asia Pacific.”

The Aperio acquisition is the latest stage in Amcor’s current expansion strategy.

FoodProductionDaily.com reported earlier this month on the acquisition of India-based flexible packaging manufacturer Uniglobe, which Amcor claimed would almost double its presence in India - taking its total number of plants in the country from three to five.

“This is an important opportunity to expand Amcor’s footprint in the high growth Indian market,”​ said Amcor CEO MacKenzie.

Related topics: Processing & Packaging

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