IRELAND – Packaging producer, Ardagh Group has agreed to combine its Food & Specialty Metal Packaging business with aluminium container manufacturer, Exal Corporation in a deal worth US$2.5 billion.

The merger is expected to create one of the largest metal packaging companies in the world, leveraging on Exal’s breakthrough innovation in premium, sustainable aluminum packaging and Ardagh’s expertise in packaging.

The combined businesses will form a new entity called Trivium, which will be 43% owned by Ardagh while Exal’s parent, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, will hold the remaining 57%.

Headquartered in the Netherlands, Trivium will operate 57 production facilities, principally across Europe and the Americas, employing approximately 7,800 people.

Projected revenues and Adjusted EBITDA in the twelve months ended March 31, 2019 were US$2.7 billion and US$469 million respectively.

“Ardagh is delighted to partner with Ontario Teachers’ as shareholders in Trivium, a combination of two highly complementary and well-invested businesses,” said Paul Coulson, currently chairman and CEO of Ardagh.

“Trivium has the products, customers, innovation capabilities and leadership team to deliver continued growth and success, as brand owners and consumers increasingly seek sustainable packaging solutions.”

Paul Coulson will become chairman of Trivium, while Michael Mapes, currently CEO of Exal, will be CEO of the combined business entity.

Founded in Youngstown, Ohio, in 1993, Exal brings expertise as a leading producer of impact extruded aluminum container in North America.

Ardagh has a strong leading presence in Food & Specialty packaging in Europe and North America, principally focused on tin-plate steel packaging.

Merging part of its food tin business with Exal not only creates a new multinational packaging group but according to Ardagh, will help reduce its outstanding debt.

The transaction which is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019 is subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of regulatory approvals and confirmation of the participation of certain Ardagh European entities in the transaction.