Acquisitions continue into 2008

Last year much of the industry was abuzz with the purchase of Alcan by Rio Tinto, a move based on the metal business of the two companies, but one that would obviously impact the flexible packaging business unit of Alcan. Since then, there has been very little information about Alcan’s packaging business unit, but rumors were aplenty with names like Sealed Air and Bemis being mentioned as potential buyers for the packaging group. To date, nothing concrete has been confirmed, so we’re stuck with speculation.

This year, though just a couple months old, has already seen the sale of another large packaging company - or at least the packaging unit of a larger company - as Alcoaannounced it sold its packaging and consumer business to New Zealand-based Rank Group Ltd.

The sale was completed in late February, when Alcoa received approximately $2.5 billionin cash from Rank. An additional approximately $200 million is expected by April 2008 when regulatory and other approvals are received for a small number of facilities.

Alcoa’s packaging and consumer businesses generated approximately 11 percent of Alcoa 2007 revenues and approximately 4.6 percent of 2007 after-tax operating income. Businesses included in the sale are: Closure Systems International; Consumer Products, including Reynolds Wrap branded products; Flexible Packaging; and Reynolds Food Packaging.

Green PollOur website,, features a poll asking visitors to give their opinion on the staying power of the sustainable packaging issue within the industry. The question and results are: Sustainability is everywhere. With regard to flexible packaging, will sustainability have an impact...Now and for the foreseeable future: 72%

For the next 12-18 months - then die down: 16%

For the next 6-12 months - then die down: 5%

For the next 18-24 months - then die down: 5%

For more than 24 months - then die down: 0%

Brendan O’Neil,Editor-in-Chief