Ardagh group may build glass plant in Republic
PACKAGING GIANT Ardagh is moving ahead with plans to return to manufacturing in the Republic.
The group is also poised to close a €721 million agreement to buy US manufacturer Anchor Glass, which it announced last month.
Ardagh ended manufacturing in Ireland in 2002 when it closed the Irish Glass Bottle plant at Ringsend, the site of which was later sold for €412 million in what turned out to be one of the property boom’s most notorious deals.
Earlier this year, chairman* Paul Coulson and his colleague, chief executive officer* Niall Wall, said the group is considering building a new glass manufacturing plant in the Republic.
Since then, the company is understood to have had talks with Enterprise Ireland and looked at possible sites, although it has not made a final decision on returning to manufacturing in the Republic – or a location.
A number of Ardagh’s key customers in the drinks business, including Heineken and Pernod Ricard, have operations here. Those customers include various distillers, and demand for spirits is growing in international markets.
Sources have suggested competition law is likely to bar Ardagh from making a bid for the Quinn group’s glass manufacturing operations in the North.
Last month’s Anchor Glass deal is subject to approval from the US competition authorities, which is expected to come through today. If the deal gets the green light, Ardagh is likely to complete it on Monday. The purchase will boost the group’s presence in the US, making it the third biggest player in the market there.
The acquisition will add about €660 million in revenues, bringing total turnover at Ardagh above €4.2 billion and leaving it with more than 100 manufacturing plants, mainly in Europe and America.
The company is funding the deal by borrowing $920 million (€744 million) through a bond issue which was eight times oversubscribed.
Ardagh is due to release figures for the second quarter next week.
* This story was edited on Friday, August 17th, 2012 to correct errors.