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Ball maintains buying spree, targets Alcan assets

March 9, 2006

2 Min Read
Ball maintains buying spree, targets Alcan assets

Ball Corp. (Broomfield, CO) announced plans to acquire three plastic-bottle manufacturing plants from Alcan Inc. (Montreal) for $180 million to complement its plastic-container operations. The deal is expected to close by the end of the first quarter 2006, subject to certain government approvals and customary closing conditions. The transaction doesn''t include Alcan''s pharmaceutical plastic-bottle operations. Alcan said that the sale of the plastic-bottle manufacturing operations is part of a plan to focus its efforts on certain growth segments of its global packaging business.

Ball will acquire plants in Batavia, IL, Bellevue, OH, and Brampton, ON, as well as certain equipment and other assets from Alcan''s Newark, CA, operation and Neenah, WI research facility. It addition to a technology center at its corporate headquarters in Colorado, Ball operates PET bottle manufacturing facilities in Chino, CA; Ames, IA; Delran, NJ; Baldwinsville, NY; and Watertown, WI; utilizing Kortec multilayer barrier preform technology for customers like Coors Brewing.

This purchase follows a Feb. 14 announcement that Ball entered into a definitive agreement to acquire U.S. Can Corp.''s U.S. and Argentinean operations for approximately 1.1 million shares of Ball common stock and the repayment of $550 million of U.S. Can''s debt. U.S. Can''s plastics business was focused on larger injection molded pails for applications like paint.

The business being sold by Alcan Packaging is a leading producer of barrier polypropylene plastic bottles in the U.S., largely for foods. The business also manufactures barrier polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles, and employs approximately 470.

"This acquisition enables Ball to supply a broad range of blue chip customers, some of whom are new to us and some of whom know Ball well through our metal food container operations," said R. David Hoover, Ball''s chairman and CEO, commenting on the company''s diversification in plastics to include foodstuffs and not just beverages.

Ball Corp. is a supplier of metal and plastic packaging products and owns Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., which develops sensors, spacecraft, systems, and components for government and commercial customers. Ball reported 2005 sales of $5.7 billion and the company employs 13,100 people worldwide.

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