Just because Alcan Inc. and Pechiney Group have created one of the world's largest packaging companies does not mean the companies plan to sit still.
``Organic growth is our top priority, but acquisitions remain necessary,'' said Cristel Bories, president and chief executive officer of Paris-based Alcan Packaging Services Ltd., the $6 billion packaging arm of aluminum giant Alcan.
In a share-exchange deal worth about $4.5 billion, Alcan officially took control of Pechiney on Dec. 15. The sale created a world leader in food, pharmaceutical and cosmetics packaging and one with substantial plastics packaging assets, said Bories, speaking March 25 at Packaging Strategies in Atlanta.
The packaging division is Alcan's second-largest business, with sales only below that of the company's sprawling primary metals operations. The Alcan Packaging unit alone has 190 facilities in 26 countries and about 36,000 employees, she said. About 63 percent of its sales come from either plastics or paper, with plastics the dominant material, Bories added.
Alcan does plan to reduce costs 5 percent annually, while Pechiney had similar initiatives, but the combined companies do not plan to slow down growth, Bories said. Organic growth is in the culture of both companies.
New acquisitions also will be needed as the industry continues its consolidation pattern, said Bories, who ran Pechiney's worldwide plastics packaging business before leading the Alcan Packaging team.
While the packaging unit considers its growth, its parent company is focusing efforts on the integration of the entire Pechiney business, Bories said. Starting in April, Alcan Inc. has a three-month evaluation time frame before moving ahead with integration plans, she said.
The company hopes to save about $250 million in annual pretax costs by integrating the companies' operations by the end of 2006.