By James R. Hagerty / Wall Street Journal
Owens-Illinois Inc. is counting heavily on Mexico for a dash of growth in the sluggish global market for glass bottles.
The Perrysburg, Ohio-based company announced Wednesday an agreement to pay $2.15 billion for Vitro’s food-and-beverage glass container business, the largest in Mexico. The agreement includes Vitro’s five glass-container plants in Mexico and one in Bolivia.
Chip Dillon, an analyst at Vertical Research Partners, said the planned acquisition could be “a game changer” in terms of investors’ perception of potential growth at Owens-Illinois.
The company is the world’s largest maker of bottles for beer, wine and liquor, but sales have declined in recent years amid weakness in Europe and Australia and a partial retreat from China, where Owens-Illinois found local price competition too stiff.