Ball to buy Anheuser-Busch can plants

Ball Corp. has cleared plans to acquire part of the can-making capability of Anheuser-Busch InBev for a reported $577 million.

As part of its acquisition last year by InBev, Anheuser-Busch is divesting can-making plants in Rome, Ga.; Columbus, Ohio, and Ft. Atkinson, Wis., along with a can-end plant in Gainesville, Fla. Ball is paying for the acquisition through a bond issue.

The acquisition has passed through a mandatory waiting period without action from federal antitrust regulators, clearing the way for the deal to be closed by the end of September.

Anheuser-Busch InBev will retain seven can and can-end plants, which will be mostly dedicated to beer cans. Of the four plants bought by Ball, production has been about 35% beer cans and 65% soft drink cans, according to a Ball spokesperson. Ball expects that proportion to continue, selling the beer cans to Busch and the soft-drink cans to various beverage bottlers.

“We are pleased with this outcome and look forward to closing the acquisition and welcoming our new employees into Ball,” says R. David Hoover, Ball’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “We have developed detailed integration plans which we will begin to implement immediately after closing. We expect the acquisition to be earnings accretive and cash flow positive for Ball and to earn a return in excess of our cost of capital.”

BRIEFS

Innovative Labeling Solutions (ILS) recently received several awards as a part of HP Indigo’s third International Digital Label and Packaging Competition. ILS received seven awards, including three Best-In-Category, making them the digital printer winning the most awards worldwide. The ILS award winners are: First Place, Nutraceuticals Label: NRG-Lax Labs Overdose; First Place, Household Products: Candle Cottage Candles; First Place, Self-Promotion: ILS Corporate Brochure; Second Place, Household Products: True to Nature Organic Room Spray; Second Place, Shrink Sleeves: Esencial Plus Olive Oil; Third Place, Wine Labels: Shady Lane Cellars; Third Place, Shrink Sleeves: Zero to 60 Energy Shot

Flexible film converter American Packaging Corp. has pledged to reduce its U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 8% per linear footage by 2012. The company has committed to the reduction goal as part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Leaders program, which American Packaging Corp. joined in 2007.

Larry Fischer has been promoted to sales manager for the Americas at Elsner Engineering Works, a supplier of converting and packaging machinery.

Packaging equipment supplier Thiele Technologies has acquired Hudson-Sharp Machinery, a manufacturer of plastic bag, pouch-making and reclosable packaging machinery.

Two divisions of Crown Holdings Inc. have won 2008 WorldStar awards from the World Packaging Organisation. Crown Food Europe received an award for its Easylift easy-open ends for food cans, while Crown Specialty Packaging won an award for its container for Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut champagne.

Associated Packaging is now distributing weigh price labeling systems, horizontal form-fill-seal machines, and tray packaging solutions from the Ossid division of Pro Mach.

Brad VanGelder has joined paperboard packaging manufacturer Bell Inc. as supply chain manager.

The Appleton, Wis., facility of Great Northern Corp., a supplier of consumer packaging and displays, has achieved certification to the independent Sustainable Forestry Initiative chain-of-custody standard.

Rich Grimley has been promoted to chief operating officer for Rexam Beverage Can Americas (North and South America), and Kip Nickel has joined the company as vice president, sales and marketing, for the North American beverage can business.