Apollo to buy Saint-Gobain's glass bottle business Verallia for $3bn

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2015

US private investment firm Apollo Global Management has clinched the bid for Saint-Gobain's glass bottles arm Verallia, at €2.95bn (around $3.3bn).

Simultaneously, Apollo had discussions with French state-owned investment fund Banque Publique d'Investissement (Bpifrance), under which the latter has agreed to buy a 10% stake in Veralia, reported Reuters.

Exclusive talks are on between Saint-Gobain and Apollo to finalize the offer, subject to customary information and consultation procedures with the former's staff representative bodies.

The deal, also contingent upon nods by competition authorities including the European Commission, is likely to be closed by the year-end.

Saint-Gobain plans to repay a part of its debt with the Verallia sale proceeds and focus on construction and building material business.

The company has sold the North American arm of Verallia in April last year.

Saint-Gobain chairman and CEO Pierre-André de Chalendar said: "The sale of Verallia would complete Saint-Gobain's strategic refocus on the design, manufacture and distribution of innovative, high-performance solutions for the habitat and industrial markets, on which the group continues to develop."

Verallia operates 47 plants in 13 countries and employs around 10,000 people. It has posted nearly €2.4bn in net sales in 2014.

Saint-Gobain said it has selected Apollo for the offer's quality and in recognition of its support for industrial projects and Verallia's staff.

In a joint statement, Apollo senior partner Robert Seminara and Apollo operating executive Jean-Luc Allavena said: "We are extremely excited to be acquiring Verallia, which is an outstanding franchise and one of the world's leading packaging companies.

"We look forward to partnering with management and its tremendous employee base to support the continued growth and innovation of Verallia."

Portuguese industrial group Ba Vidro, and investment firms Blackstone, CVC Capital Partners, and Ardian have also bid for the glass packaging business.

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