Ardagh, Exal join forces to create metal packaging behemoth

Metal and glass packaging supplier Ardagh Group has agreed to combine its Food & Specialty Metal Packaging business with Exal Corporation, a producer of aluminium containers.

The new company, which will be known as Trivium Packaging, is set to be a global leader in metal packaging.

Headquartered in the Netherlands, Trivium will operate 57 production facilities, mainly in Europe and the Americas, with around 7,800 employees. It will be one of the largest metal packaging companies in the world.

Pro forma revenues and adjusted EBITDA for the 12 months to 31 March 2019 were $2.7 billion (€2.4 billion) and $469 million (€418 million), respectively.

Additionally, Trivium expects to derive net combination benefits of approximately $40 million (€35.6 million) over the coming years through pursuing commercial and operational opportunities.

The new company will serve a range of customers across markets such as food, seafood, pet food, nutrition, beauty and personal care, household care, and premium beverages.

The deal will see Ardagh’s presence in Europe and North America, with a focus on tin-plate steel packaging, combined with Exal’s expertise in the US aluminium aerosol packaging industry.

Current chairman and CEO of Ardagh, Paul Coulson, will become chairman of Trivium, while Exal’s CEO Michael Mapes will act as CEO of the new entity.

Upon completion of the transaction, which is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing condition, Ardagh will hold a 43% stake in Trivium, with the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Board (which controls Exal) controlling a 57% stake.

Ardagh will also receive approximately $2.5 billion (€2.2 billion) in cash proceeds.

“Ardagh is delighted to partner with Ontario Teachers’ as shareholders in Trivium, a combination of two highly complementary and well-invested businesses,” said Paul Coulson. “Trivium has the products, customers, innovation capabilities and leadership team to deliver continued growth and success, as brand owners and consumers increasingly seek sustainable packaging solutions.”

“In forming Trivium we are bringing together two leading businesses to create a global packaging company that is well-positioned to capitalise on current market trends,” added Jane Rowe, executive managing director of equities at Ontario Teachers’. “We are pleased to establish a partnership with Ardagh and believe our alignment on long-term value creation will be a critical driver for future success of the enterprise.”

Commenting on his appointment to position of CEO of Trivium, Michael Mapes noted: “I am honoured to lead Trivium, which combines two great organisations with a history of customer service and innovation derived from exceptional people and long-term customer relationships. Trivium establishes a focused global leader at a time when metal packaging is poised to provide a compelling solution to help address the sustainability concerns facing consumers, brand owners, and governments. I’m very excited about Trivium’s prospects for future success.”

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