22 March 2019 by Will Date

US plastics firm lines up RPC Group acquisition

One of the UK’s largest plastics manufacturing and recycling businesses RPC Group – looks set to be taken over by the US plastic packaging giant Berry Global in a deal worth up to £5 billion.

Berry announced this morning (22 March) that it has made a final offer of 793 pence per share for Rushden-based RPC, which has over 153 sites across the globe producing both rigid and film plastic products.

Rushden based RPC operates a number of plastics manufacturing sites across the UK and in 32 other countries

These will include RPC bpi recycled products sites including a wash and granulation plant at Dumfries, dry and wash recycling plants at Heanor in Derbyshire and Rhymney, and a dry recycling plant at Stroud, Gloucestershire. These joined the RPC Group following its £261 million acquisition of BPI in 2016 (see letsrecycle.com story).

The company has a recycling capacity of more than 150,000 tonnes per year and is one of the largest recyclers of waste polythene film in Europe.

Products manufactured by the company include refuse and recycling sacks, under the Green Sack brand, ‘Plaswood’ outdoor furniture and landscaping products and plastic construction membranes.

If agreed by RPC shareholders next month, it is expected that the acquisition would be completed in the third quarter of 2019. RPC had previously been the subject of a takeover bid by the investment firm Apollo Global Management LLC – whose offer was beaten by Berry.

Compatibility

Berry has described the companies as having “complementary plastic packaging product offerings and strong cultural compatibility” and it is expected that they would have a combined revenue of around $13 billion, with 48,000 employees across six continents.

The Fortune 500 listed company, which is based in Evansville, Indiana supplies a range of non-woven, flexible, and rigid plastic products which includes food and drinks packaging, construction materials and healthcare products. It recently launched its ‘Verdant’ consumer product packaging line, which contains between 25-100% recycled content, including PET, HDPE and PP.

In a presentation to shareholders, the company highlighted the ‘sustainable plastics and recycling paradigm’ as one of the advantages of the deal, describing RPC as a “European leader in plastic and recycled packaging.”

Commenting on the company’s offer for RPC this month, Tom Salmon, Chairman and chief executive of Berry, said: “We are extremely excited about the opportunity to welcome the team and global capabilities of RPC to the Berry organization.

“We are highly impressed by the tremendous depth of talent and resources embedded within RPC, and are looking forward to the opportunity to strengthen our combined platform with the wealth of experience and expertise this team has to offer.”

Related Links
RPC Group
Berry Global

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