Melbourne-based Amcor Ltd. has refused to say if it plans to buy plastic flexibles and other packaging businesses being sold by competitor Rio Tinto plc.
Mining giant Rio Tinto of London announced its intent to sell the businesses soon after it purchased them in the fourth quarter of last year. They were part of Rio Tinto's US$38 billion acquisition of Alcan Inc.
John Murray, Amcor executive general manager of corporate affairs, said he is aware of media speculation about his company's possible interest in the former Alcan assets, but said it is Amcor policy not to comment on potential mergers and acquisitions.
He did say Amcor has completed a three-year period of ``organic growth'' and now wants to ``transition to faster-growth areas.''
``Going forward, investments will be a more balanced mixture of organic growth and acquisitions,'' he said.
In August, Amcor Chief Executive Officer Ken MacKenzie said growth will continue to focus on areas like flexibles and custom PET businesses, he said.
John Purtell, a stock analyst with Sydney, Australia-based Macquarie Group Ltd., said Amcor is likely to be interested in parts of Alcan's packaging assets, which include flexible, pharmaceutical and tobacco packaging reportedly worth US$6 billion.
``Amcor will be interested in parts of their business, but Amcor does not have the balance sheet or intent to purchase all the assets. They are looking at acquisitions, but are looking more in emerging markets,'' Purtell said. Many of Alcan's former businesses are in Western Europe and the United States.
Murray said Amcor's balance sheet is strong and Amcor is able make significant acquisitions if they are a good fit.