Three months after Neenah, Wis.-based ABT Building Products Corp. said it would shutter a thermoforming facility in Iowa and move the operations to Kentucky, the business was purchased by Bret Kivell of Aurora, Iowa, for an undisclosed sum. The sale closed Oct. 31.
East Iowa Plastics Inc. is the new name for ABT's former KenTech Plastics Inc. plant in Independence, Iowa, plant manager Sherry Cobb said in a Nov. 7 telephone interview. Kivell also owns Kivell Engineering Services in Aurora.
The company, operating from 35,000 square feet of leased space in Independence, hired five new employees in the beginning of November, according to Cobb. The firm, with annual sales of about $2 million, now employs 20 full-time workers and seven temporary ones. Products include shutters, awnings and door canopies.
In July, ABT announced it was closing the plant as part of a restructuring of its Plastics Product Group. ABT said in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission that the firm was restructuring to phase out its custom molding business and to allow it to focus on vinyl siding. ABT took a $10.4 million charge to write down equipment and satisfy other obligations related to the restructuring.
Company officials could not be reached for further information. According to East Iowa officials, ABT officials in August had decided to allow Independence employees to buy the plant, or put it up for sale. The Buchanan County (Iowa) Economic Development Commission had hired Kivell to review the operations and provide information to potential buyers.
ABT, with total sales of $328 million, employs about 1,700 and operates 10 U.S. facilities.