Packaging group Ardagh has said it has started ''exclusive negotiations'' with Compagnie de Saint-Gobain to buy from it the entire share capital of Verallia North America.

The deal could be worth up to €1.275 billion.

Verallia North America is the second largest glass container manufacturer in the US, and serves the North American wine, food and beverage industries.

It produces about 9 billion containers annually from its 13 plants in the US and employs about 4,400 people.

VNA has annual revenues of about $1.2 billion and is headquartered in Indiana. Any deal would be subject to US regulatory approval and is expected to be completed later this year.

Ardagh also said today that it expects its total group revenues for the fourth quarter to be mid-single digit percentage greater than the same time in 2011.

In a trading update, it said it will have ''very low double digit percentage'' increase in its glass packaging division revenue and flat to marginally lower revenue in its metal packaging division.

The company also said that it will raise - partly in euro and partly in dollars - a total of $1.45 billion equivalent of debt financing through the issue of senior secured notes and senior notes. The money will be used to finance the VNA deal.

Ardagh's group chairman Paul Coulson said the deal would increase the size of the company's glass business globally by almost 60% and be a very significant step in developing its operations in the US.

''It would result in approximately 40% of Ardagh Group’s total sales and EBITDA being generated in the US,'' he added.