Ardagh Group is to invest in new furnaces after it completed the acquisition of Consol Glass.

We reported last week that the Luxembourg-based glass packager had received clearance to complete the $1 billion acquisition from South African authorities.

The acquisition includes net debt assumed in Consol and includes a further $200 million investment in two furnaces.

Ardagh said it was committed to a third furnace investment at Consol’s Nigel facility in Gauteng, South Africa which will add to the existing N2 expansion project due for start-up later this month.

These combined investments will total ZAR 3 billion ($200 million) and create more than 250 direct jobs, with substantial ancillary supply-chain expenditure resulting from these projects.

Consol, headquartered in Johannesburg, and founded in 1944, operates four glass production facilities in South Africa. It also operates smaller production facilities in Kenya, Nigeria and Ethiopia.

It serves serves a variety of international, regional and domestic customers, principally in the beer, wine, spirits, food and non-alcoholic beverage sectors.

Following the acquisition, Ardagh will operate 65 production facilities in 16 countries, on four continents, employ approximately 20,000 people and have annual sales approaching $10 billion.

Paul Coulson, Chairman and CEO of Ardagh, said: "By combining Ardagh’s global reach with Consol’s know-how on the African continent, we are well-positioned to partner with our customers to meet the growing consumer demand in Africa for premium, sustainable glass packaging.”

.On completion of the acquisition, Mike Arnold stepped down as Consol CEO after a 20-year tenure in that role.

Mike will become a director of Ardagh Glass Packaging Holdings Africa and will be part of the Ardagh executive team responsible for growing Ardagh’s presence in Africa.

Paul Curnow, previously CEO Designate, has succeeded Mike Arnold as CEO. He will also become a director of Ardagh Glass Packaging Holdings Africa.

Bruce MacRobert, former Chairman of Consol, has become Chairman of Ardagh Glass Packaging Holdings Africa.