Ball to close flat sheet tinplate and can ends facility, axing 300 jobs

By Jenny Eagle

- Last updated on GMT

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Ball to close flat sheet tinplate and can ends facility
Ball Corporation will stop production at its Weirton, West Virginia, flat sheet production and end-making plant by Q1, 2017.

The plant employs approximately 300 people, and produces lithography and coating for flat sheet tinplate and can ends. The plant's capacity will be supplied by other Ball facilities.

'Redistributing production services'

Jim Peterson, COO, global food and household products packaging, Ball, said it was continuing to maximize value in its existing business by redistributing production services, ensuring they are strategically located near customers and suppliers, and investing in the quality of its production services in new locations.

"While closing a plant is always difficult, this decision will allow us to remain competitive in a changing market and to continue delivering first-class products to our customers​," he added.

Ball expects to record a total after-tax charge of approximately $21m, primarily for employee severance and benefits, facility shut down costs, and asset impairment and disposal costs.

The majority of the charge is expected to be recorded during the remainder of 2016.

Ball acquired the Weirton plant in 1993 and expanded the plant through an additional acquisition in 2006.

Weirton employees will be provided benefits in accordance with the effects bargaining process and Ball policies and will be able to apply for open positions within Ball.

Ball to divest eight European plants

Last month, the European Commission approved Ball’s $6.6bn (£4.3bn) acquisition of Rexam​ subject to the divestment of 12 plants in Europe.

Ball must divest eight of its existing European metal beverage can manufacturing plants and two end plants, along with two of Rexam's metal beverage can manufacturing plants.

The business to be divested will have a manufacturing capacity in the EEA of more than 18 billion cans.

The beverage can maker must also divest what it called ‘European innovation and support functions’ in Bonn, Germany, Chester, UK and Zurich, Switzerland.

Can body plants to be divested are: Ball’s plants in the UK (Rugby and Wrexham), Germany (Weissenthurm, Hassloch and Hermsdorf), the Netherlands (Oss) and Poland (Radomsko), one of Ball’s two plants in France (La Ciotat), Rexam’s plant in Austria (Enzesfeld) and one of Rexam’s two plants in Spain (Valdemarillo).

Ball is also divesting two can end plants, one in Deeside (UK) and another in Braunschweig (Germany).

The firm announced conditional regulatory approval in Brazil late last year​ , as part of this clearance, the company agreed to divest its plants in Alagoinhas and Jacareí.

The combined company will operate Ball's beverage can and end manufacturing plant in Três Rios and end plant in Simões Filho, as well as Rexam's 12 existing metal beverage manufacturing plants in South America.

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