Ball to Manufacture and Sell Aluminum Beverage Bottles

Ball Corporation and Universal Can Company (UCC), Tokyo, Japan, announced today that they have entered into a licensing agreement for Ball to manufacture and sell aluminum beverage bottles. Ball is the first company to license this manufacturing technology outside of Japan.

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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.

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