APW, Lucent call off deal for facility
MURRAY HILL, N.J. — Weak telecommunications markets spurred APW Ltd. and Lucent Technologies Inc. to cancel a plan for APW to acquire a Lucent facility in Poland.
APW, a Waukesha, Wis.-based contract manufacturer, had agreed to buy Lucent's metals, plastics and tooling operation in Bydgoszcz, Poland, early this year. Lucent spokeswoman Mary Ward said the firms mutually agreed to cancel the deal.
Ward said Lucent will continue to operate the 215,000-square-foot plant "for the time being," but its long-term fate is uncertain. Lucent wants to rely on contract manufacturers rather than run its own processing and manufacturing plants, she said in a telephone interview from Lucent's head office in Murray Hill.
APW will continue to manufacture for Lucent around the world, APW said in a news release. It designs and produces complex infrastructure parts for original equipment manufacturers in telecommunications and related markets.
The Lucent facility employs about 300 in the production of electronics enclosures, power-distribution frames and injection molded parts. It represents about half of Lucent's campus in Bydgoszcz.
Home fire also consumes Raitto plant
HARDWICK, MASS. — A fire that spread April 26 from a nearby home destroyed the site of custom injection molder Raitto Engineering & Manufacturing Inc.
According to Jennifer L. Mieth, spokeswoman for the state Department of Fire Services, the state marshal has determined that the fire started in a dwelling when leaking oxygen vapors came into contact with the pilot light on a fixed gas heater. The flame ignited a carpet and eventually caused a 100-pound oxygen tank to explode. The blast injured a firefighter and sent burning embers to the roof of the nearby industrial building in Hardwick.
The building, formerly home to a tissue mill and partly occupied by Raitto, was destroyed — only rubble remains. According to local reports, there were four or five Raitto employees in the building at the time, but all escaped unharmed.
Richard Raitto, owner of the business and building, was unavailable for comment on his company's future.
Hexcel Chairman Lee dies from cancer
LARCHMONT, N.Y. — Hexcel Corp. Chairman John J. Lee, 64, died May 5 of cancer at his Larchmont home.
Lee had stepped down April 27 as Hexcel chief executive officer on recommendation of his physicians. Two Hexcel directors have assumed the CEO duties while the board searches for a permanent successor.
Lee joined Hexcel in 1993. He guided the company through major financial restructuring and led the consolidation trend within the composites industry. Several acquisitions dramatically expanded the vertical scope of the structural materials maker.
Sonoco drops production of LDPE bags
HARTSVILLE, S.C. — Sonoco Flexible Packaging is exiting the competitive market for low density polyethylene T-shirt bags.
Sonoco agreed to sell related production equipment in Richmond, British Columbia, to PCL Packaging Corp. for undisclosed terms. Sonoco of Hartsville will continue to make printed flexible packaging in the Richmond facility, which it acquired when it purchased Graphic Packaging Corp.'s flexible packaging division in 1999.
PCL will move two film extruders, printing presses, shuttles and bag-making machines to its head office facility in Oakville, Ontario, and to Saint John, New Brunswick, A. Kim Aagaard, PCL president and chief operating officer, said in a telephone interview.
The LDPE bag business is a very small part of Sonoco's annual sales of $2.7 billion, said Sonoco Vice President Allan Cecil. He did not disclose sales figures but said it employs only 16. Another 45 work in the flexible printed packaging business at Richmond. Sonoco is continuing business in high density PE bags, Cecil stressed.
PCL is a major producer of PE bags, operating six plants across North America. It also makes nylon film and bags in Delano, Pa. Two months ago it bought its partner's 50 percent stake in the Gem Polymer Corp. nylon packaging business and now owns all of it, said Aagaard.