Monday 23 October 2017

Citadel takes stake in Ardagh

Ardagh chairman Paul Coulson Picture: Jason Clarke
Ardagh chairman Paul Coulson Picture: Jason Clarke
Samantha McCaughren

Samantha McCaughren

Citadel, one of the world's largest hedge funds, has emerged as an investor in Irish packaging company Ardagh following its recent flotation.

In a statement, the firm said it has taken a 6.9pc passive stake in Ardagh Group.

It is understood that this relates to 6.9pc of A class shares, which suggests that Citadel has acquired 6.9pc of the 16.2m shares listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Around 7pc of the company was listed and a total of $319m (€295m) was raised.

Ardagh listed earlier this month with shares surging by more than 21pc on its first day of trading before falling back slightly.

Ardagh is chaired by Paul Coulson, who owns around 33pc of the company following the share sale. His stake is worth around €1.5bn.

Underwriters of the listing included Irish broker Davy, as well as Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Barclays, Credit Suisse, JP Morgan and Wells Fargo.

Coulson had been planning a flotation of Ardagh since at least 2011, having taken the company private in 2003, a year after closing its original Ringsend bottle plant in Dublin.

In 2015, Ardagh pulled a planned share sale of its metal-containers unit, citing "challenging" market conditions for IPOs.

The company manufactures 84 billion packaging units every year, and its clients include Heineken, L'Oreal and John West.

Ardagh's revenue was €6.34bn last year. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) were €1.16bn.

Last year, it paid €3.2bn to buy assets from rivals Ball Corporation and Rexam.

The deal transformed Ardagh adding 12 plants in Europe, eight plants in the US, two plants in Brazil and additional operations in Germany, the UK, Switzerland and the US.

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