RPC Group Purchase Plastic Packaging Business of Nampak

RPC Group Plc, the leading European manufacturer of rigid plastic packaging, announces that it has today completed the acquisition of the UK non-dairy and Mainland plastic packaging business of Nampak Ltd., the South African-based international packaging producer group for a total consideration of £23m (of which £1m is being deferred for two years) The transaction is being funded through existing banking facilities.

Nampak’s UK non-dairy and Mainland plastic packaging business comprises three operations in the UK (Woburn Sands, Haltwhistle and Llantrisant), two in the Netherlands (Halfweg near Schiphol and Kerkrade near Maastrict), one in Belgium (Gent) and one in France (Montpont near Tournus). All these units produce blow moulded plastic containers and the main markets they serve are lubricating oils, agrochemicals and industrial chemicals.

The Nampak operations being acquired had a combined net asset value of £31.6m at 30 September 2004; their consolidated turnover and EBITDA for the year ended on that date were £77m and £6.0m, respectively.

RPC is not acquiring the freehold of the Woburn Sands factory and has agreed to cease all operations there by 31 October 2006. The closure is expected to result in synergies of £3.5m which will be realised progressively over the next two years. The anticipated cost of closing the Woburn Sands operation, which will be met by RPC, is £6m. The acquisition will enable RPC to offer its customers a superior service and a wider range of blow moulded packs. Before taking into account the closure costs, the acquisition is expected to be earnings neutral in the year ending 31 March 2005.

Ron Marsh, RPC Group Chief Executive, commented:

“The acquisition is consistent with RPC’s stated strategy to enhance profit growth by acquiring quality businesses at reasonable prices.”

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