Packaging company Amcor Ltd is considering a takeover of rival Bemis Co., according to people familiar with the matter.
Amcor is working with advisers to explore a bid for Bemis, which has a market value of about $4.3 billion, said the people, who asked not to be identified, as the details aren’t public. Considerations are at an early stage, and it’s unclear whether Amcor has made an initial approach to Bemis.
In a statement, Amcor said that it was “continually reviewing opportunities to improve shareholder value and, as part of that process, regularly assesses a range of strategic options”. A representative for Bemis didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Bemis rose as much as 17%, to $49.84, in New York trading recently. The shares closed at $46.90. Amcor fell as much as 1.3% in Sydney trading recently, and it was 0.4% lower, at A$15.65, at 10.39 a.m.
Bemis, based in Neenah, Wisconsin, makes plastic packaging including printed labels for bottles and yoghurt-pot lids, as well as machinery that makes packaging for liquids. The company reported net sales of $1.01 billion for the second quarter, missing average analyst estimates of $1.03 billion.
Amcor, which has corporate headquarters in Zurich but is listed in Australia, has a market valuation of about $14.6 billion.
Shares in packaging companies including Sealed Air Corp., Silgan Holdings, Inc. and Sonoco Products Co. also climbed.
The industry has been under pressure since Hurricane Harvey hit south-east Texas last week, disrupting US chemical production and increasing prices on basic industrial building blocks, such as polyethylene and PVC resins.
Almost 30% of US polyethylene capacity was shut as of 29 August, Matthew Blair, an analyst at Tudor Pickering, said in a note. The same day, Berry Global Group, Inc. said that it closed two Texas plastic plants until damage can be evaluated and repaired.