Saturday 18 November 2017

Probe shows how big a player group has become

ARDAGH Group only entered the US market last year and is already on the radar with Federal competition authorities. If nothing else the FTC probe highlights just how big a player Ardagh has become.

Through a series of significant acquisitions, the company has been propelled to the top rankings of its sector internationally.

The Irish-owned group entered the US market through two acquisitions. It first bought privately-held Leone Industries, which was a small, single-plant container producer based in New Jersey.

Shortly after, it paid about $880m (then €721m) to buy Anchor Glass, the third-largest glass container producer in the US.

Even without the Verallia acquisition, Ardagh racked up sales of €4.1bn in 2012 and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of €679m. It employs 18,000 people at more than 120 facilities in 26 countries. The acquisition of Verallia would add 4,000 employees and another €1.2bn in annual sales.

Some analysts expect that the FTC is simply using its complaint as a bargaining chip. Analyst Philip Ng at Jefferies speculated yesterday that it's a "negotiating process" being used by the FTC. The FTC has told Ardagh and Saint-Gobain that they have 14 days to answer its complaint.

Irish Independent

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