MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) _ Ball Corp., a leading container maker and an Indiana landmark, announced today it is moving to Colorado.
The move was prompted by the company’s decision in recent years to sell off most of its Indiana operations and by the increasing importance of its aerospace operations in Broomfield, Colo., said spokesman Scott McCarty.
``It makes more sense to have our headquarters in Colorado where the rest of our business operations are,″ he said.
As recently as 1993, the company had 1,300 employees in Indiana. The number has dwindled to about 180, all at the corporate headquarters.
The company was founded by five brothers in Buffalo, N.Y., in 1880 and moved to Muncie six years later because cheap natural gas in the Midwest provided a plentiful energy source.
``The Ball family has been entrenched in the community and has been very generous to our community,″ said Muncie Mayor Dan Canan. ``I hate to see that heritage leave.″
Five years ago, the company spun off its signature ``Ball jar″ home-canning line and other operations into Alltrista Corp., which remains in Muncie. It also spun off its glass food container operations into Ball-Foster Glass Container Co.
Ball now concentrates on beverage cans and, in the aerospace unit, instruments used on satellites.
About 3,000 of Ball’s 13,000 employees worldwide are based in Colorado.