Drinks can maker Ball (BLL - Get Report) on Monday cleared a major obstacle to the closing of its ¿5.4 billion ($7.8 billion) purchase of the U.K.'s Rexam (REXMY) by striking a $3.42 billion agreement to sell assets to Ardagh to meet regulatory conditions of the larger deal.
On arranging the assets sale, the Broomfield, Col. company also scrapped a $1.58 billion-revenue limit on the amount of operations it would be willing to divest that formed part of its February 2015 takeover deal with the U.K. target. It said the assets it will hand to Ardagh had 2015 revenue of $3 billion and Ebitda of $375 million.
The disposals are seen likely to address the full gamut of regulatory requirements worldwide, including those already announced by Brazilian and European Commission regulators, and those likely to follow in the U.S., according to sources. The Federal Trade Commission has yet to clear the Rexam deal.
Signaling its confidence in its disposals maneuver, Ball Corp. also on Monday tore up a pre-condition of the Rexam purchase that it first obtain regulatory approvals. It noted that it expects to post documentation about the scheme of arrangement bid to Rexam shareholders within about 28 days.
For the Luxembourg buyer, the transaction takes it into the drinks can market for the first time and adds a business that chairman Paul Coulson said is "highly complementary to our existing metal and glass businesses."
Under the agreement, the Luxembourg company will buy drinks can plants and associated infrastructure in Europe, Brazil and the U.S.
The Ardagh transaction is conditional on regulatory clearances, works council consultation for certain European operations and on Ball's larger deal for Rexam closing. Ardagh said it plans to help pay for the operations with the proceeds of a $2.85 billion offering of senior secured and senior unsecured notes dominated in euros and dollars.
In its Monday statement, Ball also gave an update on the expected benefits of the takeover of Ball, predicting annual cost savings of more than $300 million by the end of the third year--it had previously said these would be achieved in the third year--at a one-off integration cost of $280 million over the first three years. The merger partners make drinks cans for beverage groups, including Coca-Cola (KO - Get Report) and its affiliates.
Ball expects its purchase of Rexam to close in June.