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A Dubai-based flexible packaging group has said it is looking for acquisitions in Europe and is planning to acquire parts of the Amcor/Alcan business in Europe, according to reports.

John Hetherton, general manager of Arabian Flexible Packaging (AFP), told local reporters that his company expected the European Commission to force Amcor to sell off some parts of its business when it considers its US$2bn acquisition of much of Rio Tinto Alcan's packaging business.

He told business website Emirates Business 24/7: "The commission is resolving anti-competitive and rationalisation issues.We believe that some of the businesses will come up for sale when the marriage [Amcor acquires Alcan] finally happens. There will be opportunities."

AFP produces flexible packaging and is part of Arabian Packaging, which also has a corrugated division. Its owner, the Al Ghurair group of companies, also counts can maker Arabian Can Industry and BOPP film producer Taghleef Industries among its portfolio.

Hetherton said: "European, Australian and South East Asian companies, looking for cheaper packaging materials, have been forced to come to the Middle East. For companies such as ours, raw materials come from resin - a by-product of petroleum processing. Since the region is oil rich, it is cheaper for us to source raw materials."

The deal is subject to approval by the European Commission and commentators have suggested that competition authorities in Brussels could place its own conditions on the acquisition going through.