"By combining BSN with our existing European operations, we will create Europe's largest glass container company augmenting our existing number one position in other continents. This acquisition would be a meaningful step in our strategy to focus on the competitive strengths of our global glass container businesses," said Owens-Illinois' CEO Thomas Young.
For 2003, BSN reported preliminary unaudited net sales of approximately €1.3 billion. Based on these results, the BSN acquisition is believed to increase O-I's worldwide glass container sales by approximately 38 per cent.
Headquartered in Paris, BSN has approximately 6,400 employees and manufacturing facilities in France, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands with 19 plants, 40 furnaces and 129 glass lines.
"BSN is a well-run company with strong management, excellent production facilities, a history of high-quality manufacturing and a strong customer base across Europe. Having licensed O-I technology since 1957, BSN would be an ideal addition to the O-I family," said Young.
BSN is owned by Glasspack Participations, a company controlled by investment funds advised by CVC Capital Partners. The deal thought to be worth €1.2 billion in cash is to include the assumption of BSN's debt.
"While the acquisition of BSN would increase O-I's total debt in the short run, we believe that the company's improvement initiatives for its core businesses combined with the cash flow and earnings accretion from this acquisition should reduce indebtedness over time," said Young.
Owens-Illinois has retained advisors to conduct a strategic review of its blow-molded plastics operations. One possible outcome of this strategic review could be a decision to sell blow-molded plastics, which would provide another means to reduce indebtedness.
Closing of the transaction is subject to the parties securing all necessary regulatory approvals and is expected to occur in the second quarter of 2004.