Ardagh (ardaghgroup.com) is in the process of restructuring its proposed acquisition of the Verallia North America (“VNA”) business by selling, contingent on closing of its agreement with Saint-Gobain to acquire VNA, four glass container manufacturing plants as a standalone business to a single buyer. Ardagh is currently in negotiations with a number of potential qualified buyers, each of whom is well capitalized and owns and operates other industrial businesses in the United States.
The plants to be included in the standalone business are Ardagh’s Jacksonville, FL and Warner Robins, GA facilities and the plants currently operated by VNA at Dolton, IL and Wilson, NC. The sale of the standalone business will create a strong, viable competitor for the manufacture and sale of glass containers in the United States, in particular in the beer and spirits sectors. The manufacturing capacity of the standalone business is equivalent to more than 100% of Ardagh’s existing beer business and more than 100% of VNA’s existing spirits business.
Ardagh is currently defending its acquisition of VNA in litigation with the Federal Trade Commission. Whilst Ardagh firmly believes that its acquisition of VNA, as originally structured, is fully consistent with the antitrust laws, it is very clear that the amended transaction would more than overcome any possible regulatory concerns.