Tenneco pays pounds 850m for Mobil arm

Tenneco surprised the markets yesterday with a $1.25bn (pounds 850m) purchase of Mobil's plastics division, one of the largest makers of packaging and consumer products in North America.

The giant industrial group also said it was working on a big acquisition of a car parts operation, and hoped to announce a deal by the end of the year. "Tenneco is still a company in transition," Dana Mead, chief executive, said. "Tenneco remains a work in progress - stay tuned."

Mobil plastics' products include Hefty brand waste bags, tableware and food storage bags as well as speciality packaging for food service, supermarket and industrial applications. The company, in New York state, has about 4,100 employees and had revenues of more than $1bn in 1994.

Mobil said the sale was part of its strategy to focus on core businesses of oil, gas and petrochemicals. The cash would be used to fund growth in these areas, including potential acquisitions.