Rexam joins the fray for pump group

Beverage can maker Rexam is close to acquiring plastic pumps company Calmar after entering the final stages of the auction for the business.

Final round proposals for Calmar, which is being sold by French building materials group Saint-Gobain, were due last week and it is understood Rexam submitted a bid.Rexam is up against private equity firm PPM Capital, which also submitted a last round proposal. Sources familiar with the situation said Calmar could fetch $650m-$750m (£365m-£420m).

Bidders in earlier rounds are thought to have included US packaging company MeadWestvaco and French private equity firm PAI, which owns packaging maker Crown Holdings. It is not clear whether they have continued to the last round.

Saint-Gobain put Calmar on the block at the end of last year as part of a non-core disposal programme following its acquisition for €5.8bn (£4bn) of BPB, the UK plasterboard maker.

Calmar, which is being sold by the investment bank Lazard, became the world's first manufacturer of plastic pump sprays after its founder, Andrew Martin, realised metal pumps could be replaced with all-plastic models. Its pumps are now used in products ranging from cleaning agents to perfumes and lotions.

Rexam, which has a 3pc organic growth rate, is known to be an acquisitive company and has successfully integrated several bolt-on purchases.

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600450 Rexam joins the fray for pump group
Date: 1 May 2006

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