Speculation mounts over sale of Rexam Healthcare division

Three packaging businesses have been mooted as potential buyers for Rexam’s Healthcare business, although observers have suggested it could go to private equity.

PKN_010307_news_rexamrfid_rtBerry Plastics, Silgan Holdings and Gerresheimer have been named as potential acquirers of the business by a Reuters report.

The report last week suggested that the three companies were competing to buy the business in a deal that could be worth as much as $1bn.

It also claimed that private equity firms Bain Capital and KKR & Co have put in offers for the division, which had sales of £427m in 2012.

Rexam put the division up for sale in June and in August reported that there was “considerable interest” in the division.

An interim management statement from Rexam last week said that the sale was “progressing according to plan”, but the company declined to comment further on the process this morning.

Rexam Healthcare makes medical packaging and drug delivery devices such as syringes and inhalers. Its sale is intended to allow the London-based multinational to concentrate on its core beverage can business.

Observers have suggested that the complexity of the Rexam business may make it more likely for

M&A expert Nicholas Mockett of Moorgate Capital told PN: “The mixture of packaging businesses here makes it a complex disposal as there are relatively few strategic acquirers who would have appetite for the whole.

“That may well mean that private equity bidders win through, but with a variable financial performance that may also narrow the field of potential PE houses.”

Mockett added that a sale by the end of the year, or in early 2014, was still a possibility.

A sale of the division, when it happens, would follow the group’s sale of its personal care business in the summer of 2012 in transactions; Sun Capital Partners bought the cosmetics, toiletries and household care packaging division, while Silgan Holdings acquired the high-barrier food packaging division.