The RPC Group has agreed to buy four thin wall plastic container manufacturing operations – Hereford in the UK, Troyes in France, Antwerp in Belgium and As in the Czech Republic – from Rexam for £16.2M.

The four factories’ combined net asset value as at December 31 2003 was £24.9M, with sales of £40M. The plants employ 500 staff, producing injection moulded and thermoformed packs.

Ron Marsh, RPC Group ceo, adds: “This acquisition strengthens RPC’s position in the European margarine, ice cream and dairy packaging markets. It is also a first move into the Czech Republic, building on our existing position as a manufacturer in low cost central Europe.

“The beauty of the deal is that it enhances several different, key areas of our existing business – the Hereford plant strengthens UK injection moulding, Antwerp is an in-mould label injection moulding operation reporting to the RPC Bramlage-Wiko cluster, the As factory is part of the Bebo thermoforming cluster and Troyes reports to RPC Tedeco-Gizeh for the vending market.”