Rexam plc is set to plug a technology gap in its personal-care and cosmetics packaging arsenal with its 146 million euro ($174 million) takeover bid for the world's leading foam pump producer, Airspray NV.
In Rexam's latest deal in a run of plastics packaging acquisitions, including U.S. molders Delta Plastics Inc. and Precise Technology Inc., it expects the Airspray deal to be complete by mid-May.
Airspray's dispensers turn liquids into foam at the point of delivery, serving personal-care and household product sectors in areas such as skin and hair care, and dish detergents. Key customers include Procter & Gamble, Bath and Bodyworks Inc. and Dial Corp., said London-based Rexam.
Airspray of Alkmaar, Netherlands, employs 140 at two plants, in Alkmaar and Pompano Beach, Fla. In 2005, the public firm recorded operating profit of nearly 9 million euros ($11.2 million) on sales of 46 million euros ($57.3 million).
Last year, the firm unveiled plans for added capacity and leased plant space near existing operations in the United States and the Netherlands. Airspray plants mainly do automated assembly of pumps manufactured from outsourced molded and other components.
``Airspray is an innovative, high-growth business based on patented technologies and know-how. The acquisition ... will broaden our dispensing systems product offering globally. We also see substantial synergies in marketing, purchasing and manufacturing, with longer-term potential to develop new pump products and ranges,'' said Rexam Chief Executive Officer Lars Emilson.
>From 2001-05, Airspray reported average annual growth in sales and operating profit of 16 and 11 percent, respectively.
The deal makes Rexam - already a global consumer packaging group and the world's top beverage can supplier - a comprehensive dispensing-system manufacturer in a market that has seen growth of about 20 percent during the past five years, Emilson said.
Airspray will fit well with Rexam's existing dispenser business with operations worldwide. Those include plants in Le Treport and Tournus, France; Jundia¡, Brazil; Thomaston, Conn.; and, since last year, Shanghai, China.
In a joint statement, the firms said the takeover is ``not expected to adversely affect the existing employment level and employment conditions of Airspray.''
The takeover announcement coincided with the release of Rexam's annual results for 2005. The company reported pretax profit up 7 percent at £307 million ($536.5 million) on annual sales up from £3 billion ($5.2 billion) to £3.2 billion ($5.6 billion).
Plastic packaging operations grew by 8 percent in 2005, to £571 million ($998 million), although profit felt the slowdown of the luxury cosmetics market and a first-half volume decline in refillable PET bottles in Germany, among other factors.