Rexam plc plans to acquire Latasa, the leading Brazilian beverage can maker, in a transaction anticipated to value Latasa at about US$462M [£272M].

The deal will position Rexam as the premier can maker in Brazil, one of the world’s largest national markets with an annual consumption of about 10bn cans.

In the year ended 31 December 2002 Latasa generated sales of US$403.9M and an operating profit, before goodwill amortisation, of US$85.3M.

The transaction will complement Rexam’s existing customer base in Brazil and extend its geographic reach, with Rexam becoming the main beverage can supplier to both the beer and carbonated soft drinks industries through its relationships with AmBev and Coca-Cola.

Following the acquisition Rexam will become the world leader in beverage cans, with a global market share of 23%, equivalent to nearly 50bn cans.