Independent Can to buy Ball Corp. division
Rosedale plant produces specialty tins; no layoffs
Independent Can Co., the Belcampbased, family-owned specialty metal packaging and printing firm, said Monday it has agreed to acquire the Rosedale-based specialty tin division of Ball Corp.
Ball Corp., based in Broomfield, Colo. said it plans to sell its tin-making plant off Pulaski Highway for about $25 million.
The facility, which employs 55 people, makes specialty and custom tin-plate cans for customers who sell cosmetics, promotional items and other products.
The sale is expected to close during the fourth quarter.
Independent Can said the companies share a similar culture and have a long history of working together.
“Baltimore is a phenomenal location for can making, and the two companies really complement each other,” Rick Huether, president and board chairman of Independent Can, said in a statement.
More than half of Independent Can’s business comes from printed decorative cans for products such as coffee, fruitcakes, candy and Zippo lighter fluid. Huether said Independent will gain experienced workers and a fifth plant to add to existing facilities in Belcamp, Ohio and Iowa.
Independent Can will expand to 425 employees, including the workers at the Rosedale plant, with 325 people based in the Baltimore area.
“Putting the two companies together does make us stronger,” Huether said in an interview.
The specialty can industry has consolidated over the past two decades, he said, and Independent Can has been able to expand through acquisitions and by investing in new equipment that has helped to reduce costs.
Ball officials said they decided to sell the Rosedale plant, formerly known as Steeltin Can Co., to focus on a long-term strategy of expanding the company’s food and aerosol business. Rick Huether
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The Rosedale plant, which Ball acquired a decade ago in an acquisition of U.S. Can Corp., is the company’s only specialty tin plant.
“ICC’s business is specialty tins, so selling the Baltimore plant to them is ideal because it complements the rest of their business,” Ball spokeswoman Renee Robinson said Monday. No layoffs are expected, she said.
Ball, which had sales of $11 billion last year, also operates manufacturing plants in Lanham, Annapolis Junction and Washington. These plants make aerospace products, and are not part of the sale to Independent Can.
Mike Galiazzo, president of the Re- gional Manufacturing Institute of Maryland, said the acquisition is a good sign for manufacturing in the state.
“It’s good that a company of that high quality is purchasing another company that has a good reputation,” Galiazzo said. “It can only lead to a much stronger manufacturing operation. ...
“It’s always good news when you see a Maryland manufacturing company expanding to be able to be more globally competitive.”
The Steeltin plant opened in 1914. Later, it was a competitor of Independent Can, founded by the Parker family in 1929 on South Howard Street as one of the first companies to manufacture cans and also print their labels.
Huether’s grandparents, Harry L. and Martha May Huether, bought the company in 1949.
For a time in the late 1940s and early 1950s, Independent and Steeltin had facilities close together on President Street. Independent Can moved to Canton in 1951 and to Harford County in 1985.