Luxembourg-based packaging company Ardagh has agreed to acquire the aluminium container manufacturer Boxal group of companies from Exal in a deal worth €85m.

As part of the acquisition, Ardagh will gain two aluminium can plants in France and the Netherlands, as well as Exal’s share in a slug-making, aluminium stamped disc joint venture in France, plus its Hungarian business, Boxal Hungary.

Exal will retain its aluminium slug-making operation in Switzerland and the disposal would allow it to expand the firm’s presence in Latin America.

Ardagh CEO Niall Wall said the acquisition will assist the company in further diversifying into the aluminium can market, enhance its product offering and add value to its current activities.

Ardagh, which operates 88 manufacturing plants in 25 countries with global sales of €3.2bn, said the deal is expected to be finalised in the first half of 2012 and is subject to regulatory approval.

The company completed the acquisition of Impress, an European can manufacturer, in January last year for €1.7bn, marking the glass company’s expansion into the metal packaging business; this was followed by the acquisition of an Italian can maker, Fi Par, in March for €125m.

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Boxal’s acquisition will mark Ardagh’s first foray into the European aluminium can market. Boxal supplies aerosols and bottles to a wide variety of industries including cosmetics, pharmaceutical, food and drink.

The company’s facilities have an annual production capacity of more than 900 million containers and serve a suite of global brands including L’Oreal, Coca-Cola, Heineken, Dove, Pantene and Nivea.