Australian packaging firm Amcor Ltd. will establish a new European plastic packaging group, Amcor Flexibles Europe, following its purchase of a majority stake in the flexible packaging division of Brussels, Belgium-based UCB SA. Melbourne, Australia-based Amcor's Containers Packaging division has acquired 51 percent of UCB for A$100 million (US$80.2 million) and has the right to acquire the remaining 49 percent July 1, 1997.
UCB has seven flexible packaging plants in Europe and annual sales of A$400 million (US$320 million).
Don Macfarlane, Amcor's managing director-elect, said the purchase is significant for Containers Packaging, which recorded an 18 percent increase in pretax profit to A$240 million (US$192.5 million) for its 1994-95 financial year.
Containers Packaging owns injection molding and extrusion company Twinpak Inc. of Dorval, Quebec, and has a 64 percent interest in flexible packaging manufacturer Flexible Holdings Inc., which operates plants in Tukwilla, Wash., and Bowling Green, Ky.
Macfarlane said Containers Packaging will merge its existing German-based packaging business, Schroder & Wagner, with UCB's packaging division.
The merged group, to be renamed Amcor Flexibles Europe, will serve a range of international customers, particularly in the food sector.
``Combined with Containers' existing film and flexible operations in Australia, North America and China, this will make the combined group one of the largest flexible packaging producers globally, with about A$1 billion (US$802 million) in annual sales,'' Macfarlane said.