Ball to close three US beverage packaging plants

Ball Corporation has announced that it will be ceasing production at three of its beverage packaging plants in the US. As of 2018, the Birmingham, Alabama, Chatsworth, California, and Longview, Texas, facilities will be closed.

Employees may be provided benefits and outplacement services in accordance with the bargaining process, and are eligible to apply for job openings within Ball.

Ball will also begin construction on a new beverage packaging facility in Goodyear, Arizona, which is expected to begin production in the second quarter of 2018 and will serve growing customer demand for speciality cans in the southwestern US.

Carlos Medeiros, president, beverage packaging north & central America, said: “These transformational actions will optimise our plant network, realign our standard 12-oz beverage can and end capacity, increase our manufacturing flexibility and drive efficiencies so we can better compete with other packaging substrates.”

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

The majority of the charge is expected to be recorded during the third quarter of 2017. The company expects to achieve approximately $50m of annualised 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.

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