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Neenah-based Bemis acquired by Australian firm

Monday, August 6, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: David Allen
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Maureen Wallenfang 



NEENAH - Bemis Co. will be acquired by Amcor Ltd., based in Melbourne, Australia, according to an agreement announced Monday that's valued at $6.8 billion. 

In the all-stock transaction, Amcor shareholders will own 71 percent and Bemis shareholders will own 29 percent of the combined company.

The two will form a global packaging giant with combined revenues of $13 billion.

"They’re coming together to create the largest consumer packaging company in the world,” said Bemis president and CEO Bill Austin, who told employees about the merger via Skype Monday morning.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019. At that time, the company will be called Amcor. 

Austin said the newly formed company will rely on Bemis' Neenah information center as a hub.

"The commitment that the new company is going to have going forward to the Fox Valley is quite encouraging for all of our employees,” he said. "Our core focus is technology and technology improvement in packaging. That comes out of our facility in Neenah. That is a cornerstone of the new company, to take that technology through Amcor’s distribution networks around the world.”
 
Bemis, founded in 1858 and based in Neenah, is a supplier of flexible and rigid plastic packaging used by food, consumer products and healthcare. It reported 2017 net sales of $4 billion. It employs approximately 16,000 workers worldwide in more than 50 facilities.

The company employs around 5,000 in Wisconsin, in about 10 facilities, said Erin Winters, Bemis' director of investor relations.

"The new company is committed to that critical presence,” she said.  

The current Fox Valley employee number was not given, but earlier this year, prior to a company-wide cost-reduction plan implementation, Bemis reported about 2,500 employees in its Neenah, Oshkosh, Appleton and New London facilities.

It is not known what impact the merger will have on local jobs.

Bemis' headquarters recently moved from leased offices in downtown Neenah to the company-owned innovation center on Industrial Drive in Neenah. 

Winters said the company had "not significantly” reduced its staff in the move.

Amcor was founded in Australia and has its leadership team based in Zurich, Switzerland. It makes rigid and flexible packaging products in food, beverage, healthcare and personal care. It operates about 195 sites in over 40 countries, with approximately 35,000 employees. For the fiscal year ended June 30, Amcor generated revenues of $9.1 billion.

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