International Paper announced it has entered into an agreement with The Prudential Insurance Company of America (NYSE: PRU) to purchase a group annuity contract and transfer approximately $1.3 billion of International Paper's U.S. qualified pension plan projected benefit obligations. The transaction will be funded with pension plan assets, and at the end of 2017, Prudential will assume responsibility for pension benefits and annuity administration for approximately 45,000 former employees or their beneficiaries receiving less than $450 in monthly benefit payments from the plan. The transaction is expected to close on October 3, 2017, subject to customary closing conditions. Click Read More below for additional detail.
First Half Fiscal 2020 Highlights(1)
• GAAP net income of $252 million and earnings per share (EPS) of 15.5 cents per share;
• Adjusted EBIT of $699 million, up 4.4% in constant currency terms;
• Adjusted EPS of 29.2 cents per share, up 10.7% in constant currency terms;
• Quarterly dividend of 11.5 cents per share declared today;
• Total cash returns to shareholders of more than $600 million, including the repurchase of 21.9 million shares;
• Integration of the Bemis business progressing well, with approximately $30 million of pre-tax synergy benefits delivered in the first half of fiscal 2020 and outlook for fiscal 2020 pre-tax synergy benefits increased to $80 million; remain on track to deliver $180 million of total pre-tax synergy benefits over three years; and
• Fiscal 2020 outlook for adjusted EPS growth in constant currency terms improved to 7-10%.
Amcor’s CEO Mr Ron Delia said: “Amcor delivered a good first half result and our outlook for fiscal 2020 adjusted EPS growth has improved to 7-10%. The integration of the Bemis business is on track and the combined flexible packaging business has achieved mid single digit organic growth in addition to the delivery of synergy benefits. We are making very good progress capturing synergies with momentum building ahead of our initial expectations and we are excited by the opportunities for the combined business as we look ahead.”
“Amcor’s financial profile remains strong and will be enhanced further as we realize the full financial benefits from the Bemis acquisition. With over $1 billion of annual free cash flow, we are well placed to generate strong returns for shareholders by simultaneously investing in our core business, paying a compelling dividend, buying back shares and growing through acquisitions.”
“Today, Amcor is the global leader in consumer packaging with differentiated commercial and innovation capabilities, unparalleled scale and a global footprint. These powerful competitive advantages uniquely position us to serve our customers and to develop packaging solutions that are more sustainable and better for the environment.”
Bemis Acquisition Update
Integration of the Bemis business continues to progress well, with momentum building in the first half of fiscal 2020.
The company delivered approximately $30 million (pre-tax) of cost synergies primarily from overhead and procurement initiatives in the first half. Cost synergies have been realized faster than our initial expectations, and as a result, synergy benefits are now expected to reach approximately $80 million (pre-tax) in fiscal 2020 (previously $65 million).
We remain on track to achieve the previously announced benefits of $180 million (pre-tax) by the end of fiscal 2022.
Cash restructuring and integration costs of approximately $45 million were incurred in the first half of fiscal 2020. Total cash integration costs are estimated to be $150 million, with approximately $100 million expected to be incurred in fiscal 2020.