Amcor buys US plastic package business

Amcor Ltd has bought a US plastic packaging business for $US280 million ($A326 million) as the company targets health care and food related industries for growth. Amcor says it will buy Ball Plastics Packaging Americas from Ball Corporation for a price which is about four times the earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of $US70 million. Ball Plastics has five plants in North America and annual sales of about $US600 million, Melbourne-based Amcor said in a statement on Wednesday. Amcor chief executive Ken MacKenzie said the takeover was an opportunity to expand the company's position in the diversified products market, which includes personal care products, food and liquor. "This is a high growth market, and the capabilities of the Ball acquisition will help us expand our business in North America and to leverage new technologies and products in our growing Latin America business," Mr MacKenzie said in the statement. "In the current global economic environment, there are opportunities to acquire businesses at prices that are substantially lower than a few years ago." Mr MacKenzie said the takeover would underpin strong returns from the first full year and improve earnings per share.

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