Como Products readies for liquidation
COLUMBUS, IND. — Injection molder Como Products Corp. is preparing to close and liquidate its assets, the result of lost contracts and a weakening sales base, the Columbus consumer products producer told its 100 employees April 18.
Como's sales declined about 60 percent in the past six years, management said in a written statement. "The majority of this decline was absorbed when our largest customer moved its production of television cabinets to Mexico four years ago."
The company also lost an office furniture customer, but had worked at regaining customers, the firm said.
The privately held business listed 23 presses with clamping forces of 230-1,500 tons.
Como previously was a subsidiary of auto supplier LDM Technologies Inc., but the Auburn Hills, Mich.-based company sold the majority of its stake nearly two years ago and was in the process of selling off the remaining holdings to local management, said Phil Fioravante, director of marketing and strategic planning.
AEP selling stake in JV, closing plant
SOUTH HACKENSACK, N.J. — Plastic packaging maker AEP Industries Inc. is selling its 50 percent share in Hitachi Chemical Filtec for $10 million and is closing its Melbourne, Australia, plant.
Hitachi Chemical Co. Ltd., which had partnered with South Hackensack-based AEP in the 50-50 joint venture, is buying AEP's share of Hitachi Chemical Filtec, which AEP inherited when it bought Borden Inc.'s global packaging business in 1996. The venture operates a plant in Shimodate, Japan, that makes PVC film for the food industry.
In Melbourne, AEP operated a leased facility that converted and printed PVC and polyethylene film. The plant is scheduled to close by the end of the year. AEP will take a pretax charge of $1.8 million related to the Melbourne closing during the next nine months.
Battenfeld, Black Clawson talks halted
FULTON, N.Y. — Acquisition talks between Battenfeld Gloucester Engineering Co. Inc. and Black Clawson Converting Machinery LLC have ended, according to Black Clawson.
Battenfeld Gloucester's interest in buying Black Clawson became public in January. Carl Landegger, Black Clawson's chairman and owner, now says discussions have ended.
"We were not able to come to a mutually agreeable contract and decided it was in the best interest to terminate discussions," Landegger said. He added that Black Clawson "will continue to operate under its current structure and remains a healthy, independent company."
Fulton-based Black Clawson manufactures cast film and extrusion coating machinery. Gloucester, Mass.-based Battenfeld Gloucester builds machines for blown and cast film, sheet, foam and reclaiming scrap materials.
Battenfeld Gloucester officials have declined to comment about the talks or even confirm they took place.
SPI's Freeman leaving to start own firm
WASHINGTON — Lew Freeman is stepping down May 1 as chief lobbyist and senior government affairs fellow for the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. in Washington.
Freeman said he is leaving after 21 years to form his own government affairs consulting company in Arlington, Va.
His legislative work will be transferred to Maureen Healey, chief regulatory and state affairs officer. Regulatory staff that report to Healey will report to President Don Duncan on an interim basis. SPI will have to decide how to handle the regulatory work in the future, said spokeswoman Bonnie Limbach.
Tupperware closing Argentina facility
KISSIMMEE, FLA.—Tupperware Corp. has closed its plant in Argentina permanently, blaming a too-small housewares market.
The firm had been using the former production plant in San Pedro, Argentina, as a distribution center, but laid off the employees and put the facility up for sale in early April, a spokesman confirmed. The Kissimmee firm stopped production in San Pedro in late 1999.
The Ambito Financiero newspaper said real estate agents estimate the land and building are worth about $3 million. The paper said recent sales in Argentina are down about 50 percent compared with 1996, when Tupperware started production in San Pedro.