Amcor must sell US plant in Alcan deal: US Justice Department

AMCOR will have to sell a North Carolina plant as a condition of acquiring the Alcan packaging business of Rio Tinto, the US Justice Department said today. The $2.44 billion deal will make Amcor one of the world's largest packaging companies, with a market-leading position in flexible packaging, folding cartons for tobacco and custom PET plastic containers. A Justice Department statement said that the acquisition as originally proposed "would lead to higher prices, lower quality, less favourable supply-chain options, reduced technical support and less innovation". The companies are two of the leading US manufacturers of vented bags for medical use, and the North Carolina plant makes medical bags. In December, the European Commission approved the deal after requiring Amcor -- the world's largest maker of plastic soft-drink bottles -- to sell two flexible-packaging plants in Spain.

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