Ball Corp announces decision to leave Russia as Kerry suspends exports, investments

RUSSIA – Global supplier of sustainable packaging Ball Corporation has announced a decision to exit the Russian market due to the ongoing Ukraine crisis where Russia is conducting a “special military operation.”

“In addition to suspending future investments in Russia we have made the decision to reduce operations immediately at our three manufacturing facilities in Russia and are pursuing the sale of our Russian business to a new owner,” the company said in a statement.

Ball Corporation’s business in Russia accounted for approximately 4 percent of the company’s total net sales and 8 percent of the company’s total comparable operating earnings in 2021, according to the company.

In addition, the company’s plants in Russia produced approximately 5 percent of the company’s 112.5 billion global beverage can unit shipments in 2021.

Ball Corp’s total exit follows a similar decision by beverage manufacturers Heineken and Carlsberg. Heineken announced that the exit will cost it losses of over US$400 million while Carlsberg expects significant non-cash impairments.

Kerry suspends exports and Investments

Meanwhile, food ingredients manufacturer Kerry has announced a decision to suspend its exports from Russia in protest of the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Irish-based global food giant noted that it had also paused all planned investments in Russia and Belarus in light of the war in Ukraine.

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Kerry has however maintained that it will continue to supply food, beverage, and pharmaceutical products that are required to meet the needs of the local population.

The company further noted that it was making a donation of 250,000 euros to aid in humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.

As the war intensifies in Ukraine, food and beverage companies are under growing pressure from consumers and investors to scale back or suspend their operations in Russia.

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The world’s largest food company Nestle has found itself on the defensive following its decision to stay in Russia on humanitarian grounds.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyha criticized Nestle’s decision to stay in Russia arguing that taxes from the company to the nation provided funding for the killing of defenseless children and mothers.

In response to pressure from Ukraine, Nestle has suspended the sale of non-essential food items and now says its activities in Russia will focus solely on providing essential food — such as infant food and hospital nutrition — as opposed to making a profit.

French dairy giant Danone has also vowed to stay in Russia on humanitarian grounds but has suspended all planned investments in the country.

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