Ball’s In Your Court
Ball Corp. details terms in its pursuit of British multinational Rexam PLC.
February 19, 2015
by Canadian Packaging staff
BROOMFIELD, Colo.—As reported here on February 5, 2015, Ball Corporation has officially announced terms regarding its proposed acquisition of all of the outstanding shares of Rexam PLC in a cash and stock transaction.
Ball and Rexam represent two companies with complementary metal beverage packaging product offerings and strong cultural compatibility. The combined company will have pro forma 2014 revenue of approximately US $15 billion and approximately 22,500 employees across five continents.
- Cash and stock transaction valued at £5.4 billion ($8.4 billion), including the assumption of net debt;
- Aligns with Drive for 10 vision and long-standing capital allocation strategy;
- Leverages complementary product lines and company cultures;
- $300 million of achievable synergies by 2018;
- Highly accretive to earnings per share, generates significant free cash flow and increases EVA.
Under the terms of the offer, for each Rexam share, Rexam shareholders will receive 407p in cash and 0.04568 new Ball shares. The transaction values Rexam at 610p per share based on Ball’s 90-day volume weighted average price as of Feb. 17, 2015, and an exchange rate of US$1.54: £1 on that date representing an equity value of £4.3 billion (US$6.6 billion). This represents a premium of 36 percent over Rexam’s closing price as of Feb. 4, 2015, the last trading day prior to media speculation concerning a potential transaction.
Upon completion of the transaction, Rexam shareholders will own approximately 19 percent of Ball’s fully diluted shares outstanding. Both companies’ boards of directors unanimously support the transaction.
In addition, Ball will provide a Mix and Match Facility, which will allow Rexam shareholders to elect, subject to offsetting elections, to vary the proportions in which they receive new Ball shares and cash.
The transaction is subject to approvals from each company’s shareholders and regulatory approvals. It is expected that the necessary clearances will be obtained in the first half of 2016. Following closing of the transaction, Ball will remain a New York Stock Exchange listed company domiciled in the U.S.
“The combination of Ball and Rexam creates a global metal beverage packaging supplier capable of leveraging its geographic presence, innovative products and talented employees to better serve customers of all sizes across the globe; while at the same time generating significant shareholder value,” says Ball chairman, president and chief executive officer John A. Hayes.
“Today’s announcement aligns with our Drive for 10 strategic vision of maximizing value in our existing businesses, expanding into new products and capabilities, aligning ourselves with the right customers and markets, broadening our geographic reach and leveraging our know-how and technology. Once successfully closed, we expect the combination will provide $300 million of annual run-rate, value creating synergies in the areas of general and administrative, sourcing, freight and logistics and process and efficiency savings which are additive to our long-standing financial strategy of growing diluted earnings per share 10 to 15 percent over time, generating significant free cash flow and growing EVA dollars,” he adds.
Rexam chairman Stuart Chambers states: “The Rexam board believes that the proposed combination with Ball is a compelling opportunity for our stakeholders. By combining the two companies, we will create a truly global platform to deliver best-in-class service to customers based on a shared culture of manufacturing excellence and continued innovation. The proposed transaction offers our shareholders an attractive premium and an opportunity to participate in the value creation of the combined group through ownership of Ball shares.”
Ball senior vice-president and chief financial officer Scott C. Morrison says, “The financing structure for the transaction has been committed by a diverse set of global financial institutions offering competitive pricing and borrowing flexibility.”
Continues Morrison, “Ball’s existing strong free cash flow coupled with the free cash flow of Rexam will allow us to aggressively pay down debt post-closing as we have done following past highly accretive acquisitions such as Reynolds Metals in 1998, Schmalbach-Lubeca in 2002, U.S. Can in 2006 and the AB InBev plants acquisition in 2009. Given the cash generative capabilities and the $300 million of annual run-rate synergies of today’s proposed transaction, we expect to maintain a solid credit profile after this transaction is complete. Our pro forma leverage will be approximately 4.5 times net debt to EBITDA following this transaction, a level similar to our leverage following the Reynolds Metals transaction, when we were a much smaller company. Once we have reduced the leverage to levels in the range of 3.0 times net debt to EBITDA, the company will re-initiate its share repurchase program, and we are targeting 2018 for that.”
In summary, Ball’s Hayes says, “As our customers’ global reach and product portfolios expand and consumer packaging preferences evolve, the Ball and Rexam combination allows us to remain competitive versus other packaging substrates and responsive to our stakeholders needs for sustainable, innovative and low-cost packaging solutions.”
Representing Ball Corporation as lead financial advisor is Greenhill & Co., with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom acting as lead legal advisor, and Axinn, Veltrop and Harkrider acting as lead antitrust advisor. Deutsche Bank AG, London Branch and Goldman, Sachs & Co. also represent Ball as financial advisors. In addition to cash on hand, committed debt financing is being provided by Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs Bank USA, KeyBank National Association, Royal Bank of Scotland PLC and Rabobank.
Ball Corporation supplies innovative, sustainable packaging solutions for beverage, food and household products customers, as well as aerospace and other technologies and services primarily for the U.S. government. Ball Corporation and its subsidiaries employ 14,500 people worldwide and reported 2014 sales of $8.6 billion. For more information on Ball Corporation, visit www.ball.com.
Rexam PLC is a British multinational consumer packaging company headquartered in London, U.K., and is the largest manufacturer of beverage cans in the world and a leading producer of rigid plastic packaging. Company information is available at www.rexam.com.