Rexam plc, the packaging giant, said today that the process to sell off its healthcare division was "progressing according to plan."
Financial analysts expect the division, which contributed £427 million of Rexam's total sales of £4.3 billion in 2012, could be sold either side of its December financial year end, with completion following sometime during the first quarter.
The speed of any sale would depend on the type of buyer lined up to take on the business; a private equity deal would be more quickly resolved than a trade buyer which could result in a competition investigation.
Rexam said its overall global volumes in its beverage can business grew 3 percent in the third quarter and while it anticipated some volume increase next year trading conditions would be tough.
Graham Chipchase, Rexam's chief executive, said: "We continue to expect our full year performance to show improvement over 2012.
"We will continue with our strategy of optimising cash, managing costs and driving return on capital employed.
"Our return on capital employed target remains 15 percent, and we are committed to maintaining returns around that level as we take advantage of the opportunities to grow the business."