Berry hints more acquisitions in store

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Photo by Berry Global Group

Fresh off its latest near half-billion-dollar deal for Clopay Plastics Products Co., US-based packaging group Berry Global Group is sending signals that the market can expect more of the same in the future.

The Evansville, Indiana-based plastics firm, during a 7 Feb conference call to discuss earnings, pointed to its long history in the acquisition market, as well as the expertise the company has developed in buying firms.

"With respect to further acquisition opportunities, our pipeline continues to be very robust with global opportunities in each of our three operating segments," CEO Tom Salmon said. "The overall global packaging space remains fragmented. Berry, at $8b (€6.5bn) in pro forma annual revenue, is one of the largest in the world."

"We feel there is and will be ample opportunity to continue to find accretive acquisitions while applying our proven conservative and disciplined approach," Salmon said.

Berry paid Griffon Corp. $475m (€387m) for Clopay Plastic Products, a maker of breathable films, elastic films and laminates. Key markets include diapers, adult incontinence, feminine care, medical gowns, puppy pads, house wrap, protective garments and surgical drapes.

Berry has made 44 acquisitions over the years.

This track record "is the foundation of what has led Berry to where we are today," said the CEO. He called making acquisitions a "core competency of our company."

"We will continue to take advantage of the fragmentation inside the space to find deals that ultimately maximise shareholder value," Salmon said.

"We will continue to focus on locating and identifying both organic growth and accretive acquisition opportunities," he continued.

During its first fiscal quarter, Berry had a profit of $163m (€133m), or $1.20 (97 euro cents) per diluted share, on sales of $1.78bn (€1.45bn).

That compares with a profit of $51m (€41m), or 40 cents (32 euro cents) per diluted share, on sales of $1.5bn (€1.22bn) during the previous first quarter.

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