Ardagh Group enters metal packaging division merger agreement

Ardagh Group has entered into an agreement to merge its metal packaging business with Gores Holdings V, creating a public listed company.

The agreement will see Gores Holdings V – a special purpose acquisition company – merge with Ardagh’s metal packaging division to form the newly created Ardagh Metal Packaging (AMP), which will apply for a listing on the New York Stock Exchange. The enterprise will have a value of $8.5 billion.

Ardagh will retain an 80% stake in AMP and receive up to $3.4 billion in cash when the transaction completes. The deal includes up to $525 million in cash from Gores Holdings V and $600 million in a private placement led by investors, along with approximately $2.3 billion of new debt raised by AMP. Investors in the private placement will hold 10% share in the new company, while Gores Holdings V’s stockholders will own the remaining 10%.

Oliver Graham, CEO of Ardagh Metal Beverage will take up the role of AMP CEO, while Ardagh chairman and CEO, Paul Coulson, will serve as chairman of the combined company.

Coulson said: “We are delighted to partner with Gores Holdings V to create a NYSE-listed pure-play beverage can business of scale with impeccable ESG credentials, and we intend to remain a committed, long-term majority shareholder of AMP as it continues its growth journey.”

The deal will bring public a recyclable beverage can producer for the Americas and Europe targeting environmentally conscious consumers.

Mark Stone, senior managing director of The Gores Group and CEO of Gores Holdings V, said: “Sustainability is an important component of our investment strategy, and AMP is a clear leader in this space – environmentally, ecologically and socially.”

“As customers around the world continue to demand sustainable solutions, we believe the company is strongly positioned to capitalise on the exceptional growth opportunities ahead and we’re thrilled to be partnering with the team to do so.”

The merger is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021, which will see Ardagh retain 100% ownership of its glass packaging business, as well as its 42% stake in Trivium Packaging.

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