Ball to close US beverage packaging plant

By Jenny Eagle

- Last updated on GMT

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The Ball Reidsville plant, North Carolina. Picture credit: Ball Corporation.
The Ball Reidsville plant, North Carolina. Picture credit: Ball Corporation.
Ball Corporation will close its Reidsville, North Carolina, beverage packaging plant next year.

The plant, which opened in 1978 and was acquired by Ball in 1998 as part of the acquisition of Reynolds Metals Company, produces beverage cans in a variety of sizes, and employs approximately 150 people.

150 jobs axed

Ball expects to record an after-tax charge of approximately $18m, primarily for employee severance, pensions, asset impairments, facility shut down and disposal costs.

The plant's customers will be supplied by other Ball facilities in the US and Reidsville employees may be provided benefits and outplacement services in accordance with the bargaining process, and are eligible to apply for job openings within Ball.

Daniel Fisher, senior VP, Ball Corporation, and COO, global beverage packaging, said the majority of the after-tax charge will be recorded by mid-2017 and the net, after-tax cash costs are expected to be approximately $5m.

"While closing a plant is always difficult, balancing our supply with demand in the highly competitive beverage packaging industry will better position the company for the long-term​," he said.

"This action will better align our manufacturing footprint to meet the changing needs of our customers and the market, as we actively manage our overall plant system after the addition of seven North American Rexam plants upon close of the acquisition earlier this year​."

Divestment of 12 plants

BeverageDaily reported in January the European Commission​ approved Ball Corporation’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 deal was approved by the US Federal Trade Commission​ (FTC) in June.

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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