Ball Corp. joins growing list of Colorado businesses cutting ties with Russia

Coors aluminum cans
David Zalubowski/AP
In this June 3, 2018 photo, empty cans sit in beverage holders at a Colorado Rockies baseball game in Denver.

Ball Corp., one of the world’s largest producers of aluminum beverage cans, says it’s reducing operations at its three manufacturing plants in Russia as the country continues its invasion of Ukraine. 

In a statement Monday, the Broomfield-based company said it remains “deeply troubled” by the war, which has already created four million refugees and killed thousands of people. Ball plans to sell off all of its assets in Russia, according to the statement. 

The move is a major shift away from a growing market for the Fortune 500 company. Ball’s three Russian plants produce roughly 5.6 billion cans each year, representing four percent of the company’s total net sales. Ball produces more than 112.5 billion cans worldwide each year. 

The company also operates an aerospace business, which doesn’t do business in Russia and wasn’t addressed in the statement.

Ball’s move to sever Russian business ties comes less than a week after the company announced it would suspend future investments in the country, including a new 200-employee beverage can plant. It joins a growing list of Colorado-based companies scaling back operations in the country as international leaders attempt to isolate Russia’s economy. 

Crocs and VF Corp., which owns well-known clothing brands such as Vans and The North Face, have stopped online sales in Russia and shuttered brick-and-mortar shops in the country. 

Banking-giant Western Union also suspended its services in Russia and Belarus, cutting the countries off from its money transfer services. 

Ball’s exit from Russia comes amid a global supply crunch for aluminum cans, which has fueled price increases on many everyday beverages. The company is currently building new plants in five states and the United Kingdom to help meet demand. 

The move, along with new U.S. sanctions, will likely contribute to an overall decline in trade between Colorado with Russia. Imports and exports between the state and Russia totaled less than $20 million in 2021, according to data from the University of Colorado Leeds School of Business.