Food and beverage packaging solutions company the Ball Corporation and Rexam PLC announced the terms of an offer by Ball to acquire Rexam, a leading metal beverage can manufacturer, in a cash and stock transaction valued at $8.4 billion.

Headquartered in London, Rexam PLC operates 55 can manufacturing plants in more than 20 countries, employing approximately 8,000 people. According to Ball, the transaction is supported by both companies’ boards of directors.

“The combination of Ball and Rexam creates a global metal beverage packaging supplier capable of leveraging its geographic presence, innovative products and talented employees to better serve customers of all sizes across the globe, while at the same time generating significant shareholder value,” says John Hayes, chairman, president and chief executive officer for Ball. According to Ball, the combined company will have pro forma 2014 revenue of approximately $15 billion and approximately 22,500 employees across five continents.

Hayes says the acquisition is part of a plan that aligns with Ball’s “Drive for 10” strategic vision, which seeks to maximize value in its existing businesses while expanding its global reach with new products and capabilities aligned with the right customers.

“Once successfully closed, we expect the combination will provide $300 million of annual run-rate, value-creating synergies in the areas of general and administrative, sourcing, freight and logistics and process and efficiency savings, which are additive to our long-standing financial strategy of growing diluted earnings per share 10 to 15 percent over time, generating significant free cash flow and growing EVA dollars,” says Hayes.

Overall, Ball and Rexam say they anticipate the combination of the companies will allow them to stay competitive while being responsive to the stakeholders’ needs for low-cost, innovative packaging solutions.

“The Rexam board believes the proposed combination with Ball is a compelling opportunity for our stakeholders,” says Stuart Chambers, Rexam chairman. “By combining the two companies, we will create a truly global platform to deliver best-in-class service to customers based on a shared culture of manufacturing excellence and continued innovation.”

 The transaction is expected to close following the necessary clearances, which are projected to be obtained in the first half of 2016.