DETROIT-Foamex International Inc., in the midst of a massive restructuring program, said it remains on course with a plan to close as many as 10 plants, slash operating costs and sell off major portions of its existing business. The sell-off of business units, combined with a possible public offering of stock in a technical foams operation, could raise more than $400 million to pay long-term debt, Foamex said. The company, as of Oct. 1, was carrying long-term debt of $724 million.
The Foamex restructuring plan, announced Nov. 1, followed closely on last summer's appointment of Salvatore J. Bonanno, a 30-year veteran of Chrysler Corp., as Foamex's executive vice president of manufacturing.
Bonanno, the company recently said, has a ``mandate to aggressively pursue measurable productivity improvements'' in the areas of cushioning, carpet cushion and automotive foams.
As part of the restructuring, Foamex has been overhauling its senior management ranks.
Most recently, on Jan. 8, the company announced that Kenneth R. Fuette was appointed senior vice president of finance, succeeding Jeffrey L. Currier, who resigned.
Foamex, based in Linwood, Pa., reported a steep decline in third-quarter earnings. The company blamed the skid on rising raw material prices, delays in the introduction of new vehicle models and poor demand for carpet cushion.
For the quarter ended Oct. 1, Foamex reported sales of $310.9 million, a decline of 2 percent compared with the $317.1 million in sales reported for the same year-earlier period. But the company showed profit of only $400,000, down from the $7.4 million it reported in the third quarter of 1994.
Rising resin prices socked Foamex just as it completed a two-year acquisition spree and a major capital investment program.
The company is a major user of polyol for foaming and nylon and polyester for knitting and weaving.
From March 1993 until June 1994, Foamex acquired five companies for a total acquisition cost of nearly $500 million. During 1992-94, Foamex invested another $67.7 million in capital improvements to expand produc-tion and upgrade manufacturing facilities.
Its biggest deal was the June 1994 acquisition of the automo-tive products and industrial fabrics divisions of JPS Textile Group Inc. for $287.3 million.
The company operates in four main markets: carpet cushion and other carpet products; cushioning foam for furniture, bedding, packaging and health care; automotive trim and accessories; and industrial and consumer technical foams, including applications for filtration.
The specifics of its restruc-turing plan include the following:
Consolidating pillow manu-facturing at its Tell City, Ind., plant and closing a pillow plant in Rock Hill, S.C.
Closing as many as 10 of its 56 foam production, fabrication and branch locations in 1996. Four fabrication and branch locations, as yet undisclosed, are to be shut down by the end of March.
Studying the sale of certain undisclosed automotive carpet, trim and textiles businesses and its home comfort products subsidiary, which makes bedding. Foamex has retained two investment firms to handle any possible sales.
A possible public offering of a minority share in its variable pressure foaming business, a proprietary manufacturing process developed in a joint venture.