Bemis Company Inc., Neenah, Wis., said it agreed to buy the Food Americas operations of Alcan Packagingfor $1.2 billion fromRio Tinto plc . Scheduled for completion by the end of 2009, the deal will give Bemis pro forma sales of approximately $5.3 billion. At that time, food packaging will represent 70 percent of Bemis' activities, up from 57 percent, officials said.

"We are very pleased to add Alcan Packaging's Food Americas business to the Bemis organization," said Henry Theisen, Bemis president and CEO. "Both Bemis and Alcan Packaging have strong, collaborative relationships with renowned consumer products customers. . . . In pooling our resources, we will diversify our existing technologies and product lines, which will broaden our product offering and augment our technical capabilities."

The deal includes approximately 4,600 people at 23 Food Americas flexible packaging facilities in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and New Zealand.