Netherlands: Ardagh sued for €250m for breach of contract

Ardagh Metal Beverage Germany, one of the leading can producers in Europe has been sued before the Court of The Hague in the Netherlands by Dutch company Bound2B for damages worth €250m for breach of contract. The creator and owner of several resealable beverage can patents claims that Ball Packaging Europe, as the company was named at that time, did not respect its part of a Joint Development and License Agreement from 2004 and that this breach of contract has obstructed its ability to advance or gain any worldwide market share with its innovative resealable can. 

"Furthermore, the obligation to pay royalties for the resealable technology on products, including Coca Cola Burn and Monster Energy, was not fully met," Bound2B states in its claim. The company has summoned Ardagh to appear in court January 3, 2019.

About 15 years ago the Dutchman Antonio Perra patented a resealable beverage can which can be opened and resealed by a simple rotating movement of a flat plastic opening mechanism in the aluminum end. The patented can avoids spillage of an opened can during transport and keeps the product fresh through a 100% airtight closure.

In 2004 Perra and his company Bound2B granted Ball Packaging Europe an exclusive license to produce cans based on this invention. In 2008 the new Ball Resealable End (BRE) gained the 'Can of the Year Award' and in 2009 The Coca-Cola Company launched the energy drink Burn in France which was the first product to be marketed in the new can.

In July 2016, Ardagh Group, a Luxembourg-based producer of glass and metal products, bought 22 can manufacturing plants in Europe, USA and South America from Ball Corporation for approximately $3.1bn (£2.3bn), following the $6.1bn (£4.5bn) takeover of Rexam by Ball. Ball Packaging Europe was subsequently renamed Ardagh Metal Beverage Germany.

Ardagh Group has today more than 100 metal and glass manufacturing facilities in 22 countries across 5 continents and employs approximately 23,500 people. It has global sales of approximately €8.6 bn. It is estimated that in an average household globally, you will find at least six products in packaging produced by Ardagh Group. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ardagh Group is Paul Richard Coulson, an Irish billionaire, who is also the largest shareholder of the group.

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