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RPC to buy BPI for US$379m

[LONDON] RPC Group Plc agreed to buy competitor British Polythene Industries Plc for US$379 million as the UK supplier of packaging materials and plastics seeks to broaden its portfolio and cut costs.

The cash-and-share offer values British Polythene at about 940 pence a piece, 30 per cent higher than yesterday's closing price, Northamptonshire-based RPC said in a statement on Thursday.

The acquisition will propel RPC, which makes plastic containers for a range of products from paint to food, into the market of flexible polythene films used widely in industry and consumer-packaging. The combination is expected to generate pretax cost savings of US$14.4 million a year, and BPI management is backing the transaction, RPC said Thursday.

"BPI represents a compelling strategic opportunity for RPC to enter the European polythene films market through an established platform," RPC Chief Executive Officer Pim Vervaat said in the release.