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Pretium closing Pointe Claire, Quebec, preform plant

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July 15, 2013

Pretium Packaging LLC plans to close its Pointe Claire, Quebec, plant by the end of December 2013, the company announced July 15.

The move is connected to the Chesterfield, Mo.-based company's 2010 decision to de-emphasize the sale of injection molded preforms and focus on its core plastic bottle business, according to a news release. Pointe Claire primarily makes performs.

The plant has about 75 employees. About 65 workers will lose their jobs, although Pretium will create about 30 new jobs at the company's other locations, as it shifts work and equipment to those sites. Ten employees will transfer to Pretium's other Quebec facility, a specialty bottle manufacturer in Ville St. Laurent.

Pretium has severance arrangements with all affected employees and will work them on placement, said CEO and President George Abd in a July 16 phone call.

Closing the plant was a difficult decision made over several years, he said.

"Our team there did a very good job. Sometimes markets change and you have to adapt and change with it," he said.

Preforms are a small part of Pretium's overall business, but were an important part of the business in Point Claire and made up about 60 percent of the facility's operations, he said.

Without the preform business, the plant isn't a supportable facility, he said.

The 218,000 square-foot plant is the company's largest, according to SEC filings.

The plant had about 20 production lines. Some of the equipment — primarily good, specialized blow molding equipment — will be moved to other facilities, Abd said.

Closing the Point Claire plant will allow Pretium to move production to plants that have newer equipment and been the focus of investments over the last several years, he said. "It'll be a positive both for the company and the customer base."

Pretium plans to invest about $2 million in three other facilities — those in Hazelton, Pa.; Paris, Ill., and Ville St. Laurent — to not just support existing business, but grow, Abd said.

That investment includes equipment and infrastructure upgrades.

"This is, in the long run and the short run, in the best interest of the company; in all the members of the company and our customers," Abd said.

"It's fairly clearly the right decision to make."

Pretium has 11 plants in the U.S. and Canada and employs more than 1,000. For the most recently completed fiscal year, the company reported sales of $230 million and more than $30 million of adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA).

Pretium was No. 16 in Plastics News most recent ranking of the North American blow molding industry with $240 million in sales.