Sustainable Green Printing Partnership celebrates first anniversary

The Sustainable Green Printing (SGP) Partnership celebrated its first year as a non-profit organization devoted to reducing the environmental impact and increasing the social responsibility of the print and graphic communication industry through sustainable green printing practices. To date, the organization has certified nine printers and has attracted more than 50 SGP applicants to the program, with still more companies in the process.

“We are pleased with the progress of the SGP program, especially in light of these economic times,” says Marcia Kinter, board chairman at SGP Partnership. The group has made significant progress in its first year. SGP Partnership successfully launched its streamlined online application process in August 2008 and seated its 18-member Board of Directors for its first official board meeting in March 2009.

Also in the first year, the organization has grown its popular Patron Program, a consortium of suppliers and print buyers looking to support SGP Partnership’s goals while serving as leaders in the sustainability movement. Key patrons in the program include: Hewlett-Packard (as a Platinum Patron), Durst, Dupont, BCM Inks, Environmental Inks & Coatings, Explorer Pressroom Solutions, Flint Group, INX International Ink Co., MacDermid, Mohawk Fine Papers, Pace Industries, Reliable Paper Recycling and Xcel Products.

For more information about the SGP Partnership, the SGP Patron program, or the SGP Printer certification process, visit www.sgppartnership.org or contact Karen Gross, executive director, at info@sgppartnership.org.

A bottoming out in M&A

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) for the first half of 2009 fell off the map, both literally and figuratively. With few deals being finalized-and many being held up until the global credit markets rebounded-it was a difficult time to expand to new regions.

According to Mesirow Financial, only $3.9 billion in global M&A volume in packaging deals occurred in the first half of 2009, compared to more than 3.5 times that volume two years ago. A litany of woes conspired to stop M&A deals cold in their tracks, according to Mesirow: Deteriorating business conditions, falling stock prices, corporate restructurings, bankruptcies and creditmarket contractions were the main culprits.

Tellingly, many more prominent companies entered bankruptcy protection in the first half of the year than did deals. The Chapter 11 list included Smurfit-Stone Container, AbitibiBowater, Fraser Papers, and Pliant.

Mesirow officials also noted that about $400 billion of private equity money has been raised but not invested. With stock prices starting to inch upward and debt markets opening, perhaps some of that money can find a home.

Reprinted with permission from Packaging Strategies newsletter, a sister business of Flexible Packaging. For more info, visit www.packstrat.com.

Amcor offers to acquire parts of Alcan Packaging

Amcor announced in August that it has offered to acquire parts of Alcan Packaging from metal and mineral giant Rio Tinto for $2.025 billion. Under the deal, Amcor has agreed to acquire Alcan Packaging Global Pharmaceuticals, Alcan Packaging Food Europe, Alcan Packaging Food Asia and Alcan Packaging Global Tobacco.

As of June 2009, Amcor generated AU$9.53 billion in sales in operations covering 226 sites and approximately 21,000 employees worldwide. The parts of Alcan Packaging that Amcor plans to acquire would add approximately US$4.1 billion in sales and 14,000 employees across 80 plants in 28 countries.

In spite of the difficult economic times around the world, Amcor believes it’s in a solid financial position and the acquisition will clearly fit the company’s strategic growth plans.

“We made the tough decisions several years ago to reshape our company through focus and discipline,” says Amcor managing director and chief executive officer Ken MacKenzie.

The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and meetings with European Works Councils, thus the closing of the acquisition is not expected for several months. Until then, both Amcor and Alcan Packaging will continue to operate as separately run entities.

Amcor
+ 61 3 9226 9000; www.amcor.com

NEWSBRIEFS

Constantia Packaging owner in talks with private equity firm

Luxembourg-based private equity firm CVC revealed in August that it is in non-exclusive talks to buy a stake in Constantia Packaging, currently held by Constantia B.V. According to a news magazine in Austria-where Constantia Packaging is headquartered-the talks were centered around CVC taking over a 90% stake in Constantia Packaging for 510 million Euros ($726 million) and were part of a broader deal to settle a dispute between Constantia B.V. and a former affiliated company.