Ball buys cans

Ball Corporation is to acquire Schmalbach-Lubeca, the second largest beverage can manufacturer in Europe for approximately 900 million Euros in cash.

Ball Corporation is to acquire Schmalbach-Lubeca, the second largest beverage can manufacturer in Europe.

Ball will be acquiring the German-based company for approximately 900 million Euros in cash and the assumption of approximately 16 million Euros of net debt. Ball will also assume Schmalbach-Lubeca’s German pension liabilities of approximately 250 million Euros.

The final purchase price is subject to working capital and other post-closing adjustments. The transaction is expected to close in late 2002 or early 2003.

After the transaction, Schmalbach-Lubeca will be operated as a wholly owned European subsidiary of Ball. Hanno C. Fiedler, chairman and chief executive officer of Schmalbach-Lubeca, is expected to become an executive vice president of Ball Corporation and head of Ball’s new European operations.

Schmalbach-Lubeca, headquartered in Ratingen, Germany, operates 12 manufacturing plants – four each in Germany and Great Britain, two in France and one each in the Netherlands and Poland. The company produces more than 12 billion aluminium and steel beverage cans and easy-opening can ends, employs approximately 2,500 people and has forecasted sales in 2002 in excess of $1 billion.

The European beverage can industry supplied approximately 38 billion units in 2001, an increase of more than 7% over 2000. Schmalbach-Lubeca has approximately 31% of the installed beverage can manufacturing capacity in Europe. Combined, Ball and Schmalbach-Lubeca produce more than 45 billion beverage cans annually in North America and Europe.