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Packaging takeover could cost hundreds of jobs, warns AMWU

February 23, 2012 • News

Feb 22, 2012

A move by the world’s largest packaging company to takeover a rival business could come at the cost of hundreds of Australian jobs the AMWU has warned the ACCC.
AMWU National Print Division Secretary Lorraine Cassin made the submission to a review of Amcor’s proposed merger with flexible packaging company Aperio, currently being conducted by the consumer commission.

“We see the move by Amcor as one of eliminating a competitor rather than the acquisition of an asset to benefit the market,” Ms Cassin said.

“Amcor has ample capacity in the flexible packaging having increased capacity in Asia. We do not see that the acquisition of Aperio would lead to increased or more effective competition resulting in lower prices for consumers or business, or better or more timely delivery of services.”

The union pointed out a takeover of Aperio would see Amcor’s market share grow to 43% – more than double the other two players in the market.

“This level of market concentration is likely to limit competitive pressure in the market. We believe diversity needs to be retained in the packaging sector.

“The synergies and savings through cost reduction and redundancies when combined with market concentration would allow excess profits to be earned given the lack of discipline from market forces.”

Aperio, with up to 550 employees Australia wide, was acquired by private equity firm Catalyst in 2005.

Ms Cassin said the intrusion of private equity had not been a good experience for AMWU members.

“The structure of debt loading by private equity has resulted in several companies foundering and our members left out of work.”

The ACCC are expected to release their findings later this month.

Two other companies have also made bids for the company.

Press Release>

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