Ball to terminate production at two US packaging plants

15 August 2012 (Last Updated August 15th, 2012 18:30)

Ball is set to end production at two of its North American beverage packaging manufacturing plants, in a bid to consolidate the company's 12oz beverage can and end production capacity to meet changing market demand.

Ball is set to end production at two of its North American beverage packaging manufacturing plants, in a bid to consolidate the company's 12oz beverage can and end production capacity to meet changing market demand.

By the end of the fourth quarter of 2012, production will be discontinued at the company's US metal beverage packaging plants in Columbus, Ohio and Gainesville, Florida, subject to customer requirements.

The Columbus plant, which currently operates two of four existing lines that produce standard 12oz cans, employs about 110 people.

Producing several different beverage can ends for standard can sizes, the company's Gainesville plant has a workforce of about 125.

As a consequence, an approximately $30m total after-tax charge is expected to be recorded by Ball, mainly for employee severance and benefits, facility shut-down costs and other actions, and the majority of the charge will be recorded in the third quarter of 2012.

Ball global packaging executive vice president and chief operating officer Raymond Seabrook said by taking these steps, the company was responding to a loss of standard beverage can volume beginning 1 January 2013, as well as continued growth in speciality beverage can packaging.

"We will continue to actively manage our overall cost structure, pursue new specialty can opportunities and better position our manufacturing footprint to meet changing market conditions to offset the impact of the volume loss," Seabrook added.

The company said it will provide Gainesville employees with severance and outplacement services, and provide benefits in accordance with the effects bargaining process for employees at Columbus.