Ball Corporation in talks to buy Rexam to form beverage can giant

Ball Corporation in talks to buy Rexam to form beverage can giant

The world’s largest drinks can manufacturer has approached the second largest, with a view to an acquisition worth up to £4.3bn.

Ball Corporation is in discussions to acquire UK can manufacturer Rexam, which it values at £6.10 per share, to be divided between one-third cash and two-thirds Ball Corp. shares. The US-based company has been given a 5pm deadline on 5 March to make an offer.

A merger between Ball Corp. and Rexam would produce the world’s largest can manufacturer by far, dwarfing US rivals Crown which holds less than a fifth of the market share. The Financial Times reports that the resulting entity would hold about 61% of the market for drinks cans in North America.

"Any deal between the two… can makers would have to result in large-scale asset sales across several regions to appease competition authorities, seen to be the main obstacle to a potential takeover," the newspaper said.

In a statement, Rexam said: "Discussions on other matters are continuing and there can be no certainty any formal offer will be forthcoming, or as to the terms of any offer. A further announcement will be made when appropriate."

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