Intertape closing another FIBC plant
MONTREAL — Intertape Polymer Group Inc. is closing another U.S. plant that makes flexible intermediate bulk containers.
The Montreal firm said it will stop making the products at Rayne, La., and move the work to Mexico. The Feb. 21 announcement came about a week after Intertape said it expanded in Mexico by acquiring FIBC producer Professional Management Group of Piedras Negras. Intertape earlier announced the closure of its Augusta, Ga., FIBC plant.
Melbourne Yull, Intertape chairman and chief executive officer, said the company is seeking to produce FIBC in low-cost areas. The firm will perform all steps of FIBC production, from tape extrusion and slitting to weaving, in Mexico.
Burkart cutbacks cause major layoffs
CAIRO, ILL. — Stung by slumping automotive markets, Burkart Foam Inc. has had "significant layoffs" at its Cairo operation.
Plant manager John Currant said Burkart has cut back production because vehicle sales and production are down. He said high natural-gas costs also have forced Burkart to curtail work at the Cairo facility.
Currant would not confirm a report in The Paducah (Ky.) Sun that as many as 75 workers out of 100 were laid off Feb. 9 at the plant, which makes polyurethane foam for auto and other industries.
Business plummeted in December and January, but Currant said he is cautiously optimistic that it will rebound later this year. He said in a telephone interview that Burkart has no plan to close the Cairo operation. The company also runs a plant in Manitowoc, Wis.
Burkart is a subsidiary of privately held Ohio Decorative Products Inc. of Spencerville, Ohio. Ohio Decorative's other plastics subsidiaries are Nu-Foam Products Inc. of Chattanooga, Tenn.; Universal Urethanes Inc. of Houston; and Relom Inc. of Spencerville. It also owns Flexible Foam, which has operations in Spencerville; Elkhart, Ind.; Miami; Portage, Wis.; Pueblo, Colo.; and Terrell, Texas. Burkart also has a metals division.
Ohio Decorative officials were unavailable to comment on how other subsidiaries are reacting to the downturn in the automotive market.
Key Plastics, Carlyle deal progressing
NOVI, MICH. — Bankers and customers have signed on to a plan that will turn bankrupt Key Plastics LLC over to Carlyle Management Group.
Key's primary lender, Bank One Corp., joined an agreement reached Feb. 22 that calls for a reorganization of the Novi-based auto supplier.
Carlyle and Key will file a full reorganization plan by March 2 and wrap up the proposal March 30. Key's unsecured creditors have not signed on, but Chief Executive Officer David Benoit said he expects the deal to come together.
"This is a very positive development," he said Feb. 23.
Key entered Chapter 11 protection March 23, listing $353 million in debt and $331 million in assets. In December, Dallas-based Carlyle, part of Carlyle Group of Washington, emerged as the front-runner to take over the company.
American Polymers relocates HQ office
OXFORD, MASS. — Polystyrene maker American Polymers Inc. has moved its headquarters from Worcester, Mass., to a new, 8,000-square-foot office building near its PS plant in Oxford.
API will employ 30 at the new building and will retain its rail siding and warehouse space in Worcester, which serves the company's distribution business. API distributes ABS and styrene acrylonitrile for EniChem America, polypropylene for Epsilon Products Co. and specialty compounds for ECM Plastics Inc.
ECM also is acquiring API's 116,000-square-foot former headquarters in Worcester while leasing the rail siding and warehouse space there back to API.
API produces 120 million pounds of impact-modified and general-purpose crystal PS annually at the Oxford plant. Most of its material is used in injection molding and profile extrusion applications.