BROOMFIELD, Colo., Oct. 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Ball Corporation (NYSE: BLL) announced today that Colin Gillis has been named president of Latapack-Ball Embalagens, Ltda., Brazil, and Gihan Atapattu has been named president of Ball Asia Pacific Ltd. (BAPL), Hong Kong.
"Brazil and the Asia Pacific region are important growth markets for our company, and naming Colin and Gihan to their new roles strengthens our leadership teams in those beverage packaging businesses," said Raymond J. Seabrook, executive vice president and chief operating officer, global packaging operations. "Ball has recently increased its investment in our operations in those key markets and we continue to leverage our company's technical knowledge, market expertise and manufacturing platform to strategically grow our global beverage can business."
Increased Investment in Growing Brazilian Beverage Can Market
Ball entered the Brazilian market in 1995 through a metal beverage packaging joint venture, Latapack-Ball Embalagens, Ltda. The joint venture company operates metal beverage packaging manufacturing plants in Tres Rios, Jacarei and Salvador, Brazil. Latapack-Ball is expected to have 2010 sales of approximately $360 million.
In September, Ball announced that it had acquired an additional 10.1 percent economic interest in Latapack-Ball, increasing Ball's overall ownership to approximately 60 percent.
Gillis, 56, joined Ball in 1973. He was plant manager of the company's beverage can manufacturing plants in Whitby, Ontario; Wallkill, N.Y.; and Ball's joint venture plant in Golden, Colo., before becoming vice president, operations, of BAPL in 2007 and then BAPL president in 2008.
"The Brazilian beverage can market has grown at an average annual rate of more than 12.5 percent since 2006, and our operations in Brazil have grown with the market," Gillis said. "The Tres Rios plant, which started production at the end of 2009, is adding a second production line scheduled for start up in 2011 and we expect Brazil to continue to contribute to our success."
Fast Growing Asia Pacific Market Offers Opportunities
The Asia Pacific market, comprised of 14 countries including China, has long been part of Ball's packaging strategy. Ball first entered the China market in 1985 with a beverage can plant joint venture in Guangzhou. Today, through its plants and joint ventures, Ball supplies about a third of the 2-piece beverage cans consumed in China.
Earlier this year, Ball acquired Guangdong Jianlibao Group Co. Ltd.'s 65 percent interest in a joint venture metal beverage can and end plant in Sanshui, China. Ball owned 35 percent of the joint venture plant since 1992. Ball also entered into a long-term supply agreement with Jianlibao and its affiliate, Foshan Sanshui Jianlibao Trading Co., Ltd.
Atapattu, 44, joins Ball from the SML Group, a global apparel, branding and packaging company based in Hong Kong where he was chief executive officer. His career includes leadership positions at Avery Dennison and Arthur Andersen and extensive international business experience.
"The Asia Pacific domestic market and the middle class continue to grow," Atapattu said. "In China alone, the beverage can market is expected to grow to more than 15 billion cans in 2010, a significant increase from approximately 13.4 billion cans estimated for 2009. The beverage can is a highly sustainable, convenient package that appeals to consumers here just as it does in other parts of the world. We know this market well and are working with our customers to ensure the beverage can's share of the overall market continues to increase."
Ball Corporation is a supplier of high-quality packaging for beverage, food and household products customers, and of aerospace and other technologies and services, primarily for the U.S. government. Ball Corporation and its subsidiaries employ more than 14,000 people worldwide and reported 2009 sales of more than $7.3 billion including discontinued operations. For the latest Ball news and for other company information, please visit http://www.ball.com.
This release contains "forward-looking" statements concerning future events and financial performance. Words such as "expects," "anticipates," "estimates" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied. The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Key risks and uncertainties are summarized in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including Exhibit 99.2 in our Form 10-K, which are available at our website and at www.sec.gov. Factors that might affect our packaging segments include fluctuation in product demand and preferences; availability and cost of raw materials; competitive packaging availability, pricing and substitution; changes in climate and weather; crop yields; competitive activity; failure to achieve anticipated productivity improvements or production cost reductions; mandatory deposit or other restrictive packaging laws; changes in major customer or supplier contracts or loss of a major customer or supplier; and changes in foreign exchange rates or tax rates. Factors that might affect our aerospace segment include: funding, authorization, availability and returns of government and commercial contracts; and delays, extensions and technical uncertainties affecting segment contracts. Factors that might affect the company as a whole include those listed plus: accounting changes; changes in senior management; the current global recession and its effects on liquidity, credit risk, asset values and the economy; successful or unsuccessful acquisitions, joint ventures or divestitures; integration of recently acquired businesses; regulatory action or laws including tax, environmental, health and workplace safety, including in respect of climate change, or chemicals or substances used in raw materials or in the manufacturing process; governmental investigations; technological developments and innovations; goodwill impairment; antitrust, patent and other litigation; strikes; labor cost changes; rates of return projected and earned on assets of the company's defined benefit retirement plans; pension changes; reduced cash flow; interest rates affecting our debt; and changes to unaudited results due to statutory audits or other effects.
SOURCE Ball Corporation