WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The Federal Trade Commission
(FTC) has announced Ball Corporation will sell eight U.S. aluminum can plants
and associated assets to Ardagh Group S.A. to settle allegations that its
proposed $8.4 billion acquisition of Rexam PLC would be anti-competitive.
The FTC believed the acquisition would eliminate direct
competition in the U.S. between Ball and Rexam, which are the No. 1 and No. 2 2
manufacturers, respectfully, of aluminum beverage cans nationally and globally. Without the
divestiture, the FTC charged, the proposed merger would lessen competition for
standard 12-ounce cans in the South, Southeast, the Midwest and West.
Additionally, the FTC alleges the proposed merger would
lessen competition for specialty cans that range in size from 7.5-ounce to 24-ounce
The acquisition could also lead to higher prices and reduced
quality, selection, service and innovation.
Under the terms of the settlement, the merging companies
will divest eight aluminum can plants to Ardagh, a worldwide producer of glass
bottles for the beverage industry and metal cans for the food industry. The
plants being sold are in Fairfield, California, Chicago, Whitehouse, Ohio,
Fremont, Ohio, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Bishopville, South Carolina, and Olive Branch, Mississippi.,
and Rexam’s aluminum can end plant in Valparaiso, Indiana.