ACCC assesses impact on packaging market from Amcor’s proposed takeover of Aperio

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 13th March 2012

Australian-based multinational packaging company Amcor is waiting for the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) to give its approval for its AU$238 million takeover of the privately owned Aperio Group.

Last week, Amcor announced that it had settle a price with Aperio, and that the transaction is now subject to other conditions, including ACCC approval.

 Amcor Flexibles currently has 20 manufacturing operations in seven countries. It appears that Amcor is the largest supplier of flexible packaging in Australia (in terms of market share). It currently operates four manufacturing plants in Moorabbin and Preston (Victoria), Acacia Ridge (Qld), and Regents Park (NSW).

 Aperio is a privately owned manufacturer of flexible packaging products, with 12 manufacturing facilities across Australia and New Zealand, as well as a further flexible packaging manufacturing plant in Thailand. Aperio was established in 2005 and has since acquired several leading flexible packaging suppliers including the acquisition of Finewrap Australia in July 2006.

 According to the ACCC, if the acquisition were to be completed, the merged company would account for in excess of 30 per cent of Australian sales of flexible packaging. Also, the business would account for approximately twice the sales volumes of the next largest market participant, Sealed Air.

 Flexible packaging is used by most of Australia’s food manufacturers. This includes most packaging for frozen foods, snack foods, and other foods in soft wraps.

 In its Statement of Issues on the acquisition, the ACCC states, “Amcor and Aperio appear to be each others’ closest competitors in the flexible packaging market. Some packaging customers have identified to the ACCC how they trade Amcor and Aperio off against each other and have secured price reductions as a result.”

 The ACCC also states that, while its review is directed at the potential competition effects of the proposed acquisition across the full range of flexible packaging supply, the ACCC is currently particularly focussed on how supply of value-added flexible packaging to large  packaging customers may be affected by the proposed acquisition.

 Submissions to the ACCC on the proposed acquisition have now closed. The ACCC is due to announce its findings by 29 March 2012.