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Orora to sell fibre arm for $1.2b, with big return for shareholders

October 11, 2019 00:00:00

Australian packaging maker Orora Ltd said Thursday it will sell its local fibre materials business to Japan's Nippon Paper Industries for A$1.72 billion ($1.15 billion), simplifying its operations and sending its shares up 20 per cent, reports Reuters.

The deal is the latest in a crop of Japanese buyouts of Australian companies which includes Japan's Nippon Paint's takeover of the country's best known paint firm, DuluxGroup, for A$3.8 billion earlier this year.

The sale would be the third-largest Australian acquisition by a Japanese company this year, according to Refinitiv data.

Orora, which plans to return the bulk of the funds from the sale to shareholders, said it would focus on its higher growth Australasian glass and aluminium beverage and North American businesses.

"(The sale) fully values the fibre business and provides a streamlined opportunity for the Orora business going forward," Chief Executive Brian Lowe told a media call.

Shares of Orora surged as much as 20.2 per cent and were set for their strongest one-day per centage gain since the stock's debut in 2013.

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