Visy buys glass bottle maker for $1 billion

Recycling and packaging giant Visy has spent $947 million to buy the Australian and New Zealand glass bottle manufacturing business of global packager, Owens-Illinois Glass.

In a major show of confidence in Australian manufacturing, Visy’s owner ad executive chairman Richard Pratt has made one of the country’s largest-ever manufacturing acquisitions – all in the midst of a global pandemic.

Announcing the sale Pratt said in a statement: “Manufacturing has never been more important to Australia’s future.”

Visy packaging will add Owens-Illinois’ wine and beer bottle business to its existing operations, bring total manufacturing employment within the global Visy group to 7,200.

Owned by Pratt and his two sisters Heloise Waislitz and Fiona Geminder, Visy even before the sale was one of the world’s largest privately owned recycling and packaging companies.

Owens-Illinois supplies major brewers CUB and Lion and wine brands including Treasury Wine Estates from factories in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Auckland.

The company turned over $754 million in 2019.

Pratt said: “Importantly we will bring Visy’s sustainability culture to O-I, aiming to increase recycled content of glass bottles from one third to two thirds.”

Owens-Illinois will continue to operate in Europe, the Americas and Asia.

Picture: Owens Illinois

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