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Crown to sell majority stake in European packaging unit in $2.7 bln deal

(Recasts lede; Adds details on deal, Crown’s debt, shares)

April 8 (Reuters) – Crown Holdings Inc has agreed to sell 80% of its European tinplate business to private equity firm KPS Capital Partners in a deal valued at 2.25 billion euros ($2.68 billion), the packaging products supplier said on Thursday.

The company said it would receive pre-tax proceeds of about 1.9 billion euros from the deal, which it would use to reduce debt and buy back shares.

The unit for sale comprises 44 manufacturing facilities in 17 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and produces food cans, aerosol cans, and promotional packaging.

Crown said the business, which employs about 6,300 people, brought in 1.9 billion euros in revenue and about 220 million euros in core earnings last year.

As of Dec. 31, Crown and its subsidiaries were saddled with a debt of about $8.3 billion.

Shares in Crown rose 2% in extended trading. ($1 = 0.8393 euros) (Reporting by Praveen Paramasivam in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)

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