Ball to close three beverage packaging plants

By Jenny Eagle

- Last updated on GMT

Ball specialty cans. Picture: Ball Corporation.
Ball specialty cans. Picture: Ball Corporation.

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Ball Corporation will close three beverage packaging plants; Birmingham, Alabama; Chatsworth, California; and Longview, Texas, next year.

The company said it will also begin construction on a packaging facility in Goodyear, Arizona, which is expected to begin production in the second quarter of 2018, offering specialty cans in the southwestern US.

Manufacturing flexibility

"These transformational actions will optimize our plant network, realign our standard 12-ounce beverage can and end capacity, increase our manufacturing flexibility and drive efficiencies so we can better compete with other packaging substrates​," said Carlos Medeiros, president, Beverage Packaging North & Central America.

Ball will record a total after-tax charge of approximately $22m, primarily for employee severance, pensions and other benefits, facility shutdown costs, and asset impairment and disposal costs, for the closure of Birmingham, Chatsworth and Longview.

The majority of the charge is expected to be recorded during the third quarter of 2017.

The company expects to achieve approximately $50m of annualized net fixed cost savings in late 2018 and beyond, which contributes to the $300m plus acquisition synergies expected to be delivered by the end of 2019.

Closure dates

The Birmingham plant, which opened in 1952, employs 91 people and produces beverage can ends, is expected to cease production by the end of the second quarter 2018.

The Chatsworth plant, which opened in 1975, employs 118 people and produces beverage cans in multiple sizes, including standard 12-ounce cans, is expected to cease production by the end of the third quarter 2018.

The Longview plant, which opened in 1972, employs 100 people and produces cans in two sizes, is expected to cease production by the end of the second quarter 2018.

All closure dates are subject to customer needs.

The company said Birmingham, Chatsworth and Longview employees may be provided benefits and outplacement services in accordance with the bargaining process, and are eligible to apply for job openings within Ball.

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