Australia-based Amcor announced yesterday it had bought out Uniglobe for A$19.8m (€15.6m, US$20.7m) and immediately signalled its intent to grow the business.
“This is an important opportunity to expand Amcor’s footprint in the high growth Indian market,” said managing director and CEO Ken MacKenzie. “The Uniglobe business comes with a strong management team, and a track record of delivering significant annual sales growth.”
Amcor said the takeover would almost double its current footprint in India from three to five plants.
The company described the country as “a strategic high growth market for the flexibles packaging business”.
It stressed that the present management team would remain in the business and that it would “play a key role in supporting future growth in the Indian market”.
The Indian firm, based 150km north of Mumbai produces flexible packaging for the food, personal care and health sectors.
Amcor said Uniglobe’s business was strongly aligned with its own – servicing large multinational customers. The India outfit said Hindustan Unilever Ltd and Cadbury India Ltd were among its clients.
The firm currently generates annual sales of around A$20m from its two plants in its headquarters in Daman. Founded in 1999, the company added a second facility in 2008 which has helped boost sales by 20% over the last three years.
In a separate development this week, an Australian court ordered Amcor to pay one of its former chiefs almost A$1m in severance pay as a long-running legal battle came to an end.
Justice Peter Vickery at the Supreme Court in Victoria ordered that the packaging company pay A$918,000 to Jim Hodgson, former boss at its cardboard unit.
The court ruled that a company reorganisation carried out almost eight years ago gave insufficient grounds to dismiss Hodgson, whose clandestine recordings of executive plotting a price fixing ring with leaders from rival outfit Visy, led to substantial fines against the latter.
Amcor had lodged a counter-claim that a group of senior management, including Hodgson, had sought to sell off two of its subsidiaries to front companies they controlled.
But the judge rejected Amcor claims for compensation as the price paid in the transaction was deemed to be at the market rate- even though the Amcor employees had concealed their involvement with the entities.
The court will reconvene next month to deliberate on legal costs and to consider a possible appeal by Amcor.