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A group of private investors paid $1.5 million for Atlantis Plastics Inc.'s former custom polyethylene film plant in Tulsa, Okla.

Atlantis closed the Tulsa plant in August, idling fewer than 25 workers, according to A. Richard Hurwitz, vice president of corporate communications. The closing came after the Atlanta-based firm finished consolidating its custom film business in Tulsa into its other custom film facilities, in Mankato, Minn., and Cartersville, Ga., he said.

Early this month the California-based private investors acquired the 57,500-square-foot plant and remaining assets, including about 12 extruders, Hurwitz said by telephone Jan. 8. He said the investors, who currently are employed at plastics companies, did not wish to be identified.

``I presume they're going to set up their own facility,'' Hurwitz said. ``I'm not sure what they'll be manufacturing.''

Last spring Atlantis began relocating the custom film business from Tulsa. The move was part of a restructuring begun in mid-1995 aimed at disposing of nonstrategic assets and businesses.

``We sold the asset because it was redundant,'' Hurwitz said. ``We could do the business in the other two facilities. By consolidating our business, we lowered our cost.''

He noted that the Atlanta-based firm still has two PE stretch film operations in Tulsa.

When the custom facility there was in full-swing, it employed 50-75 and operated about 18 extruders making film for the carpet and textile and furniture industries, he said. It also manufactured embossed film, which was converted at another plant to sandwich bags and personal-care items, such as bibs and gloves.

For Atlantis, the plant's sale largely completes its restructuring, which also included the Nov. 13 sale of its Plastic Containers Inc. blow molding unit to Reid Plastics Inc. of Arcadia, Calif. Those terms were undisclosed, but the sale gave Atlantis an after-tax gain of $7 million, Hurwitz said.

Overall, since 1995, Atlantis has trimmed its cost structure by more than $7 million and reduced net debt to less than $95 million, compared with $142 million in May 1995. In 1995 the company did $192.8 in stretch and custom PE film sales, making it the 17th-largest North American film maker, according to Plastics News data. It also does $62 million in injection molding sales, mainly for the appliance, agricultural, automotive and recreational vehicle industries.

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