Rexam set to back £4.3bn takeover bid by rival can-maker Ball

Tim Wallace
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The merger would give the two giants even more scale

ref="">Rexam's board is keen to finalise a £4.3bn buyout offer from rival can-maker Ball, City A.M. understands.

Bosses are thought to see the merger as the next obvious step in building the business, giving the two giants even more scale.

UK-based Rexam’s share price has doubled since chief executive Graham Chipchase took the reins in 2010, restructuring the business by selling its plastics arm and bulking up in aluminium.

US company Ball’s takeover offer at 610p represents a premium of 36 per cent, and the announcement of a price indicates talks are advanced.

Rexam is already focused on cutting costs and building scale, particularly to help it deal with increasingly global buyers of cans.

The main hurdle is competition concerns – the two firms would expect to shed some assets in northern Europe and in the USA if they do merge.

Ball has until 5 March to announce a formal bid.

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