A major O-I shareholder wants it to sell its European business.

In a letter sent in mid September, hedge fund Atlantic Investment Management suggested O-I should sell the business and initiate a $1 billion share buyback programme to boost what the investor said was an undervalued share price.

New York based Atlantic owns a 5.93% share of O-I.

In response O-I said: “We appreciate AIM's support for our management team and operating strategy as affirmed in its letter.

“We take seriously the input of all our shareholders and O-I senior leadership has maintained an open and active dialogue with Atlantic for many years.

“Our management team and Board of Directors are continually focused on ways to improve long-term value creation, and as with all shareholder input, we will consider Atlantic's perspectives in that context.”

In the letter, Atlantic Investment President Alexander Roepers said the sale of the European operations could fetch between $3.2 billion and $3.8 billion.

That money that could be used to cut O-I’s nearly $2 billion debt, reduce the exposure to currency fluctuations, and fund the stock buyback.

Mr Roepers added that despite a decline in the US beer market for mass producers, O-I has increased US container tonnage by 20% over the past five years.

The gains have been made through further diversification into food, non-alcohol, alcohol, and craft beer segments, he added.

Pictured O-I has increased container tonnage by 20% over the past five years.