Ardagh used €365m from US sale to pay down debt

Group reports second quarters revenues of €1.28 billion

Ardagh’s clients include Coca-Cola. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

Ardagh’s clients include Coca-Cola. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

Wed, Aug 27, 2014, 01:00

Ardagh, the Irish-owned supplier of bottles to Budweiser and Coca Cola, used €365 million raised from the sale of a US business earlier this summer to pay off some of its €3 billion debt.

Earlier this year, Ardagh agreed with the US competition watchdog to sell Florida-based Anchor Glass to KPS Capital Partners as part of a settlement that would allow the Irish group to buy the much larger Verallia North America (VNA) for €1.27 billion.

‘Repayment of debt’

In a quarterly statement yesterday, Ardagh confirmed the Anchor sale went through in June and said that it received $480 million (€365 million) after adjustments and costs. It made an “equivalent repayment of debt” early the following month.

The Luxembourg-based group makes bottles, jars and tins used in packing everything from beer to salmon, and has businesses across Europe and the US. Its clients include brewers such as Inbev, owner of Budweiser, Coca Cola and John West. It has its roots in the old Irish Glass Bottle business, which was founded in 1932 and has a large number of Irish shareholders, including its chairman Paul Coulson, who owns more than 30 per cent of the business.

Ardagh has debts of more than €3 billion and is working on refinancing part of those liabilities ahead of launching on the New York stock market next year. The glass and packaging manufacturer said yesterday that it had sales of €1.28 billion in the second quarter of 2014, 28 per cent more than during the same period last year. Stripping out the VNA acquisition and the Anchor glass sale, revenues for the period were up 1 per cent.

Reported earnings of €217 million for the quarter were €59 million ahead of the same period in 2013.