Ardagh offers to sell U.S. plants over competition concerns

DUBLIN, Sept 20 Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:28pm EDT

DUBLIN, Sept 20 (Reuters) - Irish glass group Ardagh on Friday offered to sell significant capacity it said would allay concerns by U.S. antitrust authorities about its planned acquisition of a U.S. glass packaging unit from France's Saint-Gobain.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission said in early July that it had filed a complaint aimed at stopping Ardagh's proposed $1.7 billion acquisition of the Verallia North America (VNA) glass packaging unit, which makes jam jars and drinks bottles for the U.S. market.

Ardagh said that if the VNA deal went ahead, it would sell four glass container manufacturing plants to a single buyer.

The manufacturing capacity of new standalone business would be equivalent to more than Ardagh's existing beer business and more than VNA's existing spirits business and would more than overcome any possible regulatory concerns, it said.