RPC accepts £3.34bn deal to be acquired by US rival Berry Global

Published: 9-Mar-2019

Private equity group Apollo misses out after making £3.2bn bid final

RPC has sales of £3.45bn and is Europe's largest packaging group. At its last AGM it hinted strongly that it was open to offers.

Private equity groups Apollo and Bain Capital duly obliged although Bain later withdrew leaving Apollo as the single bidder.

The agreed price was a low multiple of just seven times estimated Ebitda and Apollo in its haste to wrap up the deal made the 782p per share offer 'final' which was accepted by the RPC board.

By making its offer final without any wording should a rival offer appear Apollo may have made a mis-step. Apollo cannot now rebid without damage to its reputation which would weaken its position in future deals.

Goldman Sachs are backing the Berry bid and are the likely drivers here. Seeing the weak position Apollo had put themselves in Goldman’s will have identified that Berry wouldn't need much of an increased offer to snatch it away.

So far it seems a shrewd move, a stronger European base will help Berry globally and in an industry under pressure this may well be the right package for both businesses.

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