MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA (March 8, 1:50 p.m. ET) — Amcor Ltd. has formally announced it has reached an agreement to buy flexible packaging supplier Aperio Group Australia Pty. Ltd. for US$252.5 million, even though Australia's competition watchdog is yet to approve the proposed sale.
The Canberra-based Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has already said it has reservations about the potential for reduced competition in the market if the deal goes ahead.
ACCC is scheduled to hand down its final decision March 29.
Melbourne-based Amcor said the acquisition will add 13 sites to its Amcor Flexibles Asia Pacific (AFAP) business's existing 21 sites. Post-acquisition, AFAP will generate an estimated US$1.27 billion in annual sales from 34 plants across the Asia Pacific region.
Amcor managing director and CEO Ken MacKenzie said Amcor continues to help ACCC with its investigations and hopes to complete the sale “as close as possible” to March 29.
MacKenzie said the acquisition will combine Australasia's two leaders in flexible packaging and Melbourne-based Aperio is “an important strategic addition” to Amcor's AFAP business. He said the proposed acquisition will significantly benefit Australian, New Zealand and Thailand customers in scale, efficiency, innovation and security of supply.
Amcor and Aperio have argued there is limited overlap between their operations and a sale will not result in significant market concentration.
ACCC, however, has said that the deal would create a company with an estimated 30 percent share in the Australian market for flexible packaging.