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RPC Group, the British company that supplies the plastic packaging for products ranging from Heinz Ketchup to Nivea skin creams, announced plans this morning to buy US rival Letica Group for up to $640m, its sixth acquisition since last September.

The FTSE 250 company also said it is looking to raise £552m in a fully-underwritten rights issue, with part of the the proceeds from the rights issue funding the purchase of Letica. RPC said it would use the rest of the proceeds to pay down the debt it took on as a result of other recent acquisitions.

RPC said it had proposed buying Michigan-based Letica, which also makes plastic packaging, for an upfront consideration of $490m.

The amount paid could rise to up to $640m if Letica reaches designated profit targets in the next two years. Last year, Letica reported revenues of $450m and adjusted ebitda of $57m.

RPC is one of Europe’s biggest suppliers of plastic packaging. The company said that the Letica acquisition, which is not subject to shareholder vote but will require the approval of US regulators, “represents a strategic step” for it to “create a meaningful presence outside of Europe”.

Pim Vervaat, chief executive of RPC, said:

The acquisition of Letica provides a unique opportunity to further extend RPC’s geographical reach into the attractive North American market through Letica’s strong and well-invested manufacturing footprint.

We are excited to be able to develop an enhanced platform of scale to support continued organic and inorganic growth in the United States.

RPC shares rose 2 per cent, to 1,080p per share share, at the market open.

RPC has been highly acquisitive in recent months, acquiring or agreeing to acquire six companies in less than a year. The company said this morning that the combined acquisitions had an aggregate enterprise value of around £460m.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.
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