Rio Tinto to sell Alcan packaging to Amcor for $2.025 billion

Rio Tinto, the world's third-largest diversified mining company, today agreed to sell its Alcan packaging unit for $2.025 billion to Australia's Amcor Ltd., in line with its divestment programme announced in December 2008 to bring down its massive debt burden. (See: Major shake up at Rio Tinto to reduce debt)

One of the world's largest packaging companies, Amcor had been placed in a trading halt yesterday till Thursday, pending the release of an announcement from the company, which acording to market speculations was related to the likely announcement of the acquisition of Rio Tinto Ltd's Alcan Packaging business (See: Amcor close to announcing Alcan's packaging unit purchase)

Amcor will be acquiring Alcan's Packaging Global Pharmaceuticals, Alcan Packaging Food Europe, Alcan Packaging Food Asia, and Alcan Packaging Global Tobacco.

In 2008, these businesses generated revenues of $4.1 billion, accounting for 62 per cent of Alcan Packaging's total revenues. For the first six months of 2009, the businesses generated total revenues of $1.8 billion.

"Following the acquisition, Amcor will be among the world's largest packaging companies, with leading positions in flexible packaging, custom PET containers and folding cartons for tobacco packaging," Amcor said in a statement.

Amcor said, ''The acquisition will improve Amcor's ability to use its manufacturing and process know-how, R&D and intellectual property across a larger sales base and will have a greater suite of products for customers and be able to deliver improved service due to a better geographic spread of factories across the world,'' it added.