Business Irish

Sunday 23 October 2016

Carlyle and BC Partners eye Ardagh's €2.4bn Oressa unit

Published 16/08/2015 | 02:30

Ardagh chairman Paul Coulson
Ardagh chairman Paul Coulson

Private equity groups Carlyle, BC Partners and Onex Group are believed to be trying to buy Ardagh's tin can unit, Oressa, which is valued at about €2.4bn.

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Ardagh, headed by billionaire deal-maker Paul Coulson, is said to be considering a number of offers for the metal containers business, which it had been planning to float in order to pay down debt.

Ardagh has said it aimed to sell off a minority stake in the Oressa business and filed for a US initial public offering earlier in the summer. The unit generates earnings of around €300m per year.

Ardagh may steam ahead with its IPO plans for Oressa if the bids for the unit don't match its own valuations.

"Ardagh's objective is to raise approximately €2bn in proceeds from the combined debt and equity issuance by Oressa," Coulson told investors two weeks ago. This could cut Ardagh's debt to around €2.7bn by year's end.

Coulson aims to slash Ardagh's debt mountain after borrowing billions of dollars on bond markets to build up one of the world's largest packaging businesses.

Since taking control of Ardagh in the late 1990s, Coulson has transformed the firm from a tiny Irish-listed group into a global player, with Ardagh now the largest glass container maker in northern Europe and the second-biggest in the US.

The Shrewsbury Road financier and his family own around one third of Ardagh, with that shareholding valued at close to €1bn.

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