Under the agreement, Ball will use UCC's proven, commercial technology to manufacture the Alumi-Tek(TM) bottle and will sell it in the United States, Canada and Mexico. This reclosable aluminum beverage bottle has been sold successfully in Japan, and is currently manufactured there in sizes ranging from 310 ml (10.5 oz) to 410 ml (13.9 oz). The light weight, recyclable package can be used for a wide variety of beverages, such as carbonated soft drinks, juices, energy drinks, and even coffee drinks and other beverages requiring retort processing.
Ball will be able to leverage its two-piece aluminum beverage can manufacturing expertise to produce the Alumi-Tek(TM) bottle because the manufacturing technology for both packages is very similar. The bottles will also have the same high quality graphics found on cans because they are decorated with the same printing process.
"This is a distinctive new package that adds the convenience of reclosability to the list of well-known aluminum can attributes, such as superior shelf life, tamper-resistance, the ability to chill quickly and recyclability," said Ball's Michael D. Herdman, president, metal beverage packaging division. "The Alumi-Tek(TM) bottle is an excellent addition to our extensive portfolio of specialty cans. We will work closely with our customers to introduce it in ways that take advantage of its functional benefits and unique look to attract attention on store shelves."
Universal Can Corporation, a specialized beverage can manufacturer based in Tokyo, Japan, was founded October 1, 2005, with the consolidation of parts of Mitsubishi Materials Corporation and Hokkai Holdings, Inc. The company had sales of approximately 60 billion Japanese yen, or $545 million U.S., in the 2005 Japanese fiscal year and employs approximately 800 people.
Ball Corporation is a supplier of high-quality metal and plastic packaging products and owns Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. Ball reported 2005 sales of $5.8 billion and employs 15,600 people worldwide.
This news 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 in Exhibit 99.2 in our Form 10-K. These filings are available at our Web site and at www.sec.gov. Factors that might affect our packaging segments include fluctuation in consumer and customer demand and preferences; availability and cost of raw materials, including recent significant increases in resin, steel, aluminum and energy costs, and the ability to pass such increases on to customers; competitive packaging availability, pricing and substitution; changes in climate and weather; fruit, vegetable and fishing yields; industry productive capacity and competitive activity; failure to achieve anticipated productivity improvements or production cost reductions, including those associated with our beverage can end project; the German mandatory deposit or other restrictive packaging laws; changes in major customer or supplier contracts or loss of a major customer or supplier; changes in foreign exchange rates, tax rates and activities of foreign subsidiaries; and the effect of LIFO accounting. Factors that might affect our aerospace segment include: funding, authorization, availability and returns of government contracts; and delays, extensions and technical uncertainties affecting segment contracts. Factors that might affect the company as a whole include those listed plus: acquisitions, joint ventures or divestitures; integration of recently acquired businesses; regulatory action or laws including tax, environmental and workplace safety; 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; changes to the company's pension plans; reduced cash flow; interest rates affecting our debt; and changes to unaudited results due to statutory audits or other effects.
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