Rexam set to acquire pump maker

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Airspray Rexam Soap

Rexam and Airspray have jointly announced a take-over bid that will
see the UK-based packaging giant offering €146 million to buy up
the Netherlands-based manufacturer of pump sprays. The move will
strengthen Rexam's position in both the plastics and beauty
packaging sectors.

Rexam said it would offer a 21 per cent premium for the outstanding shares on the company's share value, paying $26.75 for all outstanding ordinary Airspray shares. The deal will also see a group of large shareholders collectively revoke its 44 per cent stake in the company's total shares.

Airspray added that its supervisory and management board had unanimously recommended that Airspray shareholders accept the offer.

"We believe there is an excellent strategic fit between us and Rexam,"​ said Airspray CEO Robert Brands.

"We are convinced that Rexam's ofer provides a very god opportunity for creating maximum value for all our stakeholders... The business has grown rapidly in recent years and Rexam wil provide a good platform enabling us to pursue the next phase in our growth strategy,"​ Brands added.

Airspray has developed a niche position on the plastics packaging market by supplying key global personal care players such as Proctor and Gamble, Unilever and Colgate with foaming pump sprays for a variety of applications including bath, shower and shampoo products.

"The acqusition is a further step in the expansion of our plastic packaging operations and will broaden our dispensing systems product ofering globally,"​ said Lars Emilson, Rexam's chief executive.

"We also see substantial synergies in marketing, purchasing and manufacturing, with longer term potential to develop new pump products and ranges,"​ Emilson added.

Rexam says that it wants to continue developing the Airspray business along its current lines and that the deal will not effect current employment levels. Further to this the continued management of the company will occur within the Plastics Packaging sector of the Rexam business group, which already plays an active role in the dispensing technology area.

Airspray will also maintain its main office and business centres in both the US and the Netherlands.

In conjunction with the acquisition announcement Airspray CFO Jan van der Schaff says he has accepted another position and will be leaving the company in June. A search for his successor will begin shortly.

Industry experts view the deal as a wise move, particularly given the huge rise in the demand for foaming soaps. A relatively new product segment, market information provider IRI says that foaming hand soap global sales have increased 35 per cent in the last 12 months, increasing the market share from 14 per cent in 2004 to 19 per cent in 2005.

Behind the increase is the constant search by consumers to find personal care products that are quick and easy to use, are effective and that are not wasteful. Many consumers feel that foaming soap meets these requirements, which is why it is increasingly being incorporated into hygiene routines.

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