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Ardagh plans plant closure after post-Impress strategic review

By Rory Harrington , 31-May-2012

Ardagh Group’s proposal to close one of its UK metal packaging plants secured as part of the takeover of Impress in 2010 is the likely result of a strategic review conducted in the aftermath of the major acquisition, an industry insider has told FoodProductionDaily.com.

The expert delivered the analysis in the wake of an announcement by Ardagh to shutter its aerosol facility in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales - cutting the number of its UK metal packaging sites from three to two.

Ardagh said the move, which is subject to staff consultation, would see operations at the South Wales plant transferred to its remaining factories in England in a bid to boost the efficiency of its UK division.

The planned closure would result in the loss of 146 jobs, although the company said it would look at opportunities for the Welsh worker at its other locations.

The aerosol manufacturing for personal and home care is scheduled to be moved to its plant at Sutton Ashfield, which currently focusses mainly on food packaging, while the printing set-up will be incorporated into the site in Norwich.

The firm vowed that the overhaul would result in new investment in the two plants.

“Ardagh inherited most of these plants when t took over Impress in 2010,” said the industry source. “It was inevitable it would carry out a review of the business and size of the market in terms of cost and capacity.  The firm will be carrying out similar assessments at all parts of its operations across all divisions and locations as a matter of routine.”

The Ireland-based company bought Impress in December 2010 for €1.7bn. The bold move saw glass specialist Ardagh more than double in size and crucially expand into metal packaging. The deal also saw Ardagh expand its geographical reach outside Europe into North American and Australasian markets

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