Amcor Is Said To Explore Takeover Of Packaging Maker Bemis

Packaging company Amcor Ltd. is considering a takeover of rival Bemis Co., according to people familiar with the matter.

Amcor is working with advisers to explore a bid for Bemis, which has a market value of about $4.3 billion, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the details aren’t public. Considerations are at an early stage and it’s unclear whether Amcor has made an initial approach to Bemis. Amcor said in a statement it was “continually reviewing opportunities to improve shareholder value and, as part of that process, regularly assesses a range of strategic options.”

A representative for Bemis didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Bemis rose as much as 17 percent to $49.84 in New York trading Thursday. The shares closed at $46.90. Amcor fell as much as 1.3 percent in Sydney trading Friday and was 0.4 percent lower at A$15.65 at 10:39 a.m.

Bemis, based in Neenah, Wisconsin, makes plastic packaging including printed labels for bottles and yogurt-pot lids, as well as machinery that makes packaging for liquids. The company reported net sales of $1.01 billion for the second quarter, missing average analyst estimates of $1.03 billion. Amcor, which has corporate headquarters in Zurich but is listed in Australia, has a market valuation of about $14.6 billion.

Shares in packaging companies including Sealed Air Corp., Silgan Holdings Inc. and Sonoco Products Co. also climbed. The industry has been under pressure since Hurricane Harvey hit southeast Texas last week, disrupting U.S. chemical production and increasing prices on basic industrial building blocks such as polyethylene and PVC resins. Almost 30 percent of U.S. polyethylene capacity was shut as of Aug. 29, Matthew Blair, an analyst at Tudor Pickering, said in a note. Berry Global Group Inc. said the same day that it closed two Texas plastic plants until damage can be evaluated and repaired.

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