UK’s CMA opens consultation on Liqui-Box acquisition of DS Smith unit

13 September 2019 (Last Updated September 13th, 2019 10:47)

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is consulting publicly on whether the proposals offered by Liqui-Box acquisition of DS Smith's flexible plastic packaging business address competition concerns.

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched a consultation on undertakings proposed by Liqui-Box to address competition concerns over its acquisition of DS Smith’s flexible plastic packaging unit.

In July, the CMA announced an initial investigation and concluded that the deal would leave insufficient competition in the UK market and referred it to a more in-depth phase two probe.

Liqui-Box agreed to acquire DS Smith’s flexible plastic packaging unit in March and has offered undertakings to sell its UK bag-in-box business, including a factory and customer list, to Peak Liquid Packaging in order to address the CMA’s concerns.

The watchdog has until 30 September to consider whether to accept the undertakings or a modified version of them.

The CMA is inviting public submissions over the proposed move before taking a final decision.

Headquartered in Chicago, DS Smith’s plastics division consists of sustainable flexible packaging and dispensing solutions, plastics extrusion, injection- moulded and foam products.

The division includes the Rapak and Worldwide Dispenser businesses, as well as employs more than 2,000 people across 26 facilities in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.

A portfolio company of private equity firm Olympus Partners, Liqui-Box manufactures Bag-in-Box flexible packaging, fitments and pouches to serve various global industries, including dairy, beverage, food and non-food customers.

If the proposed deal goes ahead, Liqui-Box and DS Smith Plastics will have a global footprint, design capabilities and a service platform that will provide customers with new packaging solutions and drive advancements in technology and sustainability.