US: Ardagh Group extends deadline for Saint Gobain unit buy
The FTC has raised competition concerns over the deal
Ardagh has missed a deadline for the completion of its US$1.7bn acquisition of fellow glassmaker Saint-Gobain’s US unit, Verallia, as talks with US competition authorities drag on.
Luxembourg-headquartered Ardagh, whose customers include Anheuser-Busch InBev and the Coca-Cola Co, was due to complete the deal yesterday (13 January). However, the US Federal Trade Commission, which launched an adminstrative complaint last July over competition concerns, is still examining the deal.
The FTC argued the transaction would result in higher costs for brewers and distillers, and higher prices for consumers.
Ardagh said the negotiations with the FTC are “progressing satisfactorily”, but it has agreed with Saint-Gobain to stretch the deadline for the deal to complete to 30 April.
As a result of the missed deadline, Ardagh said it will repay in full the US$1.4bn worth of bonds raised to finance the acquisition. To complete the deal, Ardagh said it has “arranged committed replacement bridge financing, which it expects to refinance in the capital markets in due course”.
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