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Amcor set to buy Constar

By: Jim Johnson

December 19, 2013

Constar Inc. is plunging into bankruptcy court protection for the third time in recent years, and this time the company has a buyer lined up for its assets.

The Trevose, Pa.-based PET container maker, in paperwork in with U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware on Dec. 19, said it wants to sell “substantially all of the company’s assets” to Amcor Rigid Plastics USA Inc., a unit of Australia-based Amcor Ltd.

Initial bankruptcy court filings provide general information about each case, and Constar indicates in that paperwork that the firm has assets of $50 million to $100 million and liabilities of $100 million to $500 million. There are between 200 and 999 creditors.

PET resin producer DAK Americas of Charlotte, N.C., and DAK Resinas Americas Mexico SA de CV of Cosoleaquaque, Mexico, are listed as the top two creditors and are owed more than $15.6 million combined. Britvic Soft Drinks Ltd. of London is owed another $5.4 million, according to bankruptcy court records.

Constar calls itself a pioneer in the PET bottle business on the company’s website, but the firm has had a rough go financially in recent years. The company filed for bankruptcy protection in both 2008 and 2011.

This time around, Constar is turning to Amcor, which describes itself as the world’s largest packaging company.

Amcor confirmed it has a deal to acquire the Constar assets.

“The US business currently operates six plants with annualized sales of approximately US$190 million and has an attractive fit with Amcor Rigid Plastics,” the company said in a news release.

Amcor expects to close the acquisition through the court during the first quarter, the company said.

Constar goes back to the 1960s when the company first started making plastic bottles. By the 1980s, the firm said it was instrumental in the development of two-liter PET soda bottles.