LONDON — Rexam plc has announced a fresh investment that may lead to its eventual acquisition of California-based injection molder Calmar Inc.
London-based Rexam has purchased a 40 percent stake in the series A preferred stock of Calmar for an undisclosed sum.
Calmar, based in City of Industry, Calif., has four plants in the United States and others in Spain and Germany. The firm molds pumps for cosmetics, toiletries, pharmaceuticals and household packaging.
According to Rexam, Calmar reported sales of $222 million for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30. It is majority owned by leveraged buyout specialist FS Equity Partners, an affiliate of U.S. fund manager Freeman Spogli & Co.
Rexam said it bought the stock, with a face value of $18 million, from Svenska Handelsbanken AB, a Swedish bank. Rexam's shares represent about 6 percent of the voting rights in Calmar.
``We're enjoying considerable success in this market with our own spray pumps business. So we know this is a good investment,'' said a Rexam spokesman in London.
The spokesman had no comment on the likelihood of his group acquiring the U.S. firm eventually. But London's Financial Times quoted a London analyst as suggesting that the investment, estimated at $10 million, is a prelude to the firm's takeover.
Calmar placed 25th in Plastics News' 1997 survey of North American injection molders.
Rexam's Beauty Packaging division plans to triple sales to about $650 million by 2001 through acquisitions and internal growth.