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Wheaton Shareholders Block Planned Merger with French Company

September 29, 1994

MILLVILLE, N.J. (AP) _ Glass manufacturer Wheaton Inc. is dropping plans to merge with a French health and beauty company after shareholders balked at the move.

Wheaton announced this week it was backing out of the deal with CarnaudMetalbox after several major stockholders expressed concern that the merger would change the Wheaton family’s strong ties to the company.

″This combination offered great potential value to the health care and personal care marketplace,″ said Wheaton Chief Executive Officer Robert Veghte. ″However, as the proposed partnership gained definition, it became clear that it did not meet the needs of the Wheaton family for continued governance of the new company.″

Shareholders of each company would have split control of the new company 50-50.

A Wheaton spokesman declined to elaborate on the stockholders’ concerns.

Under the plan announced last June, the companies would have formed a new venture, Wheaton International, which was to be based in the United States with headquarters in New Jersey. Projected yearly sales were estimated at $800 million.

The French company, based in Paris, has metal and plastic packaging operations. It employs more than 31,000 people at 198 factories in 38 countries.

Wheaton has 45 manufacturing plants and employs about 5,000 people, including 3,500 in southern New Jersey. Principal products produced by Wheaton include glass and plastic bottles used by the cosmetics and liquor industry.

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