Ball Corporation today announced an agreement to sell its metal beverage packaging facilities in China to ORG Technology Co. Ltd., a leading Chinese metal packaging company, for approximately $225mn total transaction consideration including cash, plus potential additional consideration related to the relocation of an existing facility over the next several years. Ball Corporation supplies innovative, sustainable packaging solutions for beverage, personal care and household products customers, as well as aerospace and other technologies and services.
Employing 17,500 people worldwide with reported 2017 net sales of $11bn, the transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and is expected to close during the second half of 2019.
Assets included in the sale are beverage can and end plants in Beijing, Foshan, Hubei and Qingdao, China, and associated contracts and other related assets. As part of the transaction, Ball also will license its beverage can and end technology to ORG in China, and reinvest approximately $50mn, largely from the anticipated relocation proceeds, in ORG's shares, while agreeing to cooperate on future commercial opportunities with mutual customers by leveraging the expertise of ORG in China and Ball in the markets it serves.
"This arrangement allows each party to leverage its own geographic strengths, while allowing Ball to continue our disciplined approach to capital allocation by freeing up capital that does not generate our required returns," said John A. Hayes, chairman, president and CEO.
Ball will continue to serve the growing demand for sustainable aluminium beverage packaging in other parts of Asiafrom its wholly owned Myanmar facility and joint ventures located in Vietnam, Thailand, South Korea and Taiwan.
Proceeds from the sale will support Ball's ongoing global growth initiatives and multi-year share repurchase program. Today's announcement will have an immaterial effect on Ball's 2019 goals of $2bn of comparable EBITDA and free cash flow in excess of $1bn.
Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC is serving as financial advisor to Ball Corporation, and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is serving as Ball Corporation's legal counsel.