Part 2 Consents
Ball Corporation has agreed to sell to Ardagh Group S.A. eight U.S. aluminum can plants and associated assets in order to settle charges that its proposed $8.4 billion acquisition of Rexam PLC is likely anticompetitive. According to the complaint, the acquisition would eliminate direct competition in the United States between Ball and Rexam, which are the first and second largest manufacturers of aluminum beverage cans in both the United States and the world. The complaint alleges without a divestiture, it is likely that the proposed merger would substantially lessen competition for standard 12-ounce aluminum cans in three regional U.S. markets – the South and Southeast, the Midwest, and the West. The complaint also alleges that the proposed merger would substantially lessen competition for specialty aluminum cans nationwide. Ball and Rexam produce specialty aluminum cans that range in size from 7.5 ounces to 24 ounces, come in different shapes, and are used to market a wide variety of different products such as portioncontrolled drinks and energy drinks. Under the terms of the consent agreement, Ball and Rexam are required to divest eight aluminum can plants and related assets in the United States to Ardagh, one of the world’s largest producers of glass bottles for the beverage industry and metal cans for the food industry. Ardagh will acquire aluminum can body plants in Fairfield, Calif., Chicago, Ill., Whitehouse, Ohio, Fremont, Ohio, Winston-Salem, N.C., Bishopville, S.C., and Olive Branch, Miss., and Rexam’s aluminum can end plant located in Valparaiso, Ind.. Ardagh also will acquire Rexam’s U.S. headquarters in Chicago, Ill., and Rexam’s U.S. Technical Center in Elk Grove, Ill.