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Anchor asks court to halt acquisition by O-I, enacts anti-takeover plan

A leading glass container manufacturer has asked the U.S. District Court in Tampa, Fla., to prohibit a majority of its stock from being acquired by Toledo's Owens-Illinois, Inc.

Anchor Glass Container Corp., of Tampa, the third largest maker of food and beverage containers, said in a statement that it also had approved measures to prevent an unsolicited takeover.

Anchor said in its court filing that the O-I deal would violate federal and Florida antitrust laws.

In a statement, Anchor said its attempt to restructure its debt would be harmed if O-I obtained a majority of Anchor's stock.

Such a stake is held by Consumers Packaging Inc., of Toronto, from which O-I wants to acquire assets.

Anchor officials did not return calls seeking comment yesterday. Officials at O-I, Toledo's second largest corporation and the maker of glass and plastic containers, declined to comment.

In August, O-I announced a $153 million deal with Consumers Packaging, to buy its six glass container manufacturing plants and all shares of its American subsidiary, Consumers U.S., Inc., which holds a majority of Anchor's stock. It was unclear yesterday whether the deal, expected to be completed this month, would be scuttled.

Although O-I said in August it would sell shares of Consumers U.S. that it acquired, Anchor said this week it believes the buyer for those shares will be John Ghaznavi, its former chief executive officer and a current Anchor board member.

The company said that to thwart an unwanted takeover it adopted a shareholder rights plan that would create vast quantities of new stock to dilute those acquired by an unsolicited suitor.

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