February 1, 2019 / 7:56 AM / 5 months ago

UPDATE 1-Takeover target RPC posts flat profit, to stockpile ahead of Brexit

(Adds details of Apollo, Berry deal and background)

Feb 1 (Reuters) - Europe’s biggest plastic packaging company RPC Group Plc reported a flat quarterly operating profit on Friday and said it was stockpiling at manufacturing sites to prevent any disruption from Brexit.

RPC, which is at the centre of a potential bidding war between Apollo Global and Berry Global, said quarterly revenue from continuing operations was 894 million pounds ($1.17 billion), compared with 898 million pounds a year earlier.

Berry Global said on Thursday it was considering a cash offer for RPC in a challenge to a 3.3 billion pound ($4.3 billion) bid from the U.S. company’s former parent, Apollo Global.

Apollo had agreed to acquire RPC last week after months of negotiations. The private equity firm would not sweeten its offer of 782 pence per share, a source with knowledge of the matter had told Reuters.

Separately on Friday, Apollo said it had received a letter of intent from Eminence Capital for 2.27 million RPC shares.

In Friday’s trading update, RPC said the time lag in passing on polymer price increases to the customer had resulted in a 10 million pound headwind for the first six months of the year.

“The Group is finalising preparations to mitigate any disruption resulting from the UK’s exit from the European Union”, the company said in the statement.

With Britain at risk of leaving the European Union without a divorce deal, companies are considering a range of strategies, including stockpiling, moving distribution centres and testing new trade routes in case customs checks jam up the normal operations.

$1 = 0.7634 pounds Reporting by Sangameswaran S in Bengaluru; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier and Anil D'Silva

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