Barlo Plastics closing headquarters plant
GEEL, BELGIUM - Barlo Plastics Europe NV is closing its headquarters plant in Geel and switching production to plants in Germany and Eastern Europe.
The Geel plant employed 78. The June 19 shutdown announcement follows three weeks of negotiations with employees and trade unions.
Barlo plans to move eight sheet extrusion lines to its two plants in Germany and to a new plant in Pr¡bram, Czech Republic, according to business development director Marc Van den Cruyce.
The Geel plant makes clear sheet from polystyrene, acrylic, PET and styrene acrylonitrile.
The plant is scheduled to close by September. The firm is consolidating production after a number of recent acquisitions.
``The transfer is an important step in Barlo Plastics' strategy to reduce its cost-base and to secure our future growth and market presence,'' Van den Cruyce said in a news release. ``The Western European market for [general-purpose] PS sheet is stabilizing, whereas in central Europe there is still a huge potential, and we expect this demand to continue to grow. For SAN sheet, the cost structure became very important. These factors implied the transfer of the entire Belgian production to state-of-the-art manufacturing sites.''
Geel will remain Barlo Plastics' headquarters, which will employ 56.
Elsewhere, Barlo is reorganizing its newly acquired Athlone Extrusions Ltd. operation in Athlone, Ireland, now its biggest extrusion operation with 14 lines. The parent firm is moving two existing Bandera lines from Athlone to the new Czech plant, while adding two new lines to the Athlone plant.
Barlo Plastics is a unit of Dublin, Ireland-based Barlo Group plc.
Nampac managers gain control of firm
ATLANTA - A management-led group purchased North American Packaging Corp. from Southcorp Ltd. on June 28.
Managers took control of Southcorp's North American packaging business March 1, pending financing. Terms were not disclosed.
The new Nampac plans to move its headquarters to Raleigh, N.C., from Atlanta by Sept. 1, said Lawrence McVicker, chairman and chief executive officer. McVicker and Phillip O'Connor, vice chairman and chief financial officer, head the team.
The business employs 1,200 and has annual sales of about $210 million from making rigid-side pails, tight heads, bottles and drums using injection and blow molding.
Recently, Nampac invested several million dollars in an integrated computer system across all operations, and a platform for e-commerce, McVicker said in a telephone interview.
SAP AG of Walldorf, Germany, installed the systems for Nampac's 11 plants, including nine in seven states and one each in Ontario and Puerto Rico.
Polypipe parent IMI suing some suppliers
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - IMI plc, the parent group of plastic pipe and building components firm Polypipe, is suing several raw material suppliers over the cost of replacing faulty products sold by Polypipe's windows division.
In a terse statement tucked into a trading update issued on July 3, IMI denied recent United Kingdom newspaper reports that it is facing a string of lawsuits for burst pipes. It called the reports ``without foundation.''
However, the Birmingham-based company admitted it has set aside £25 million ($35 million) to cover warranty claims from Polypipe customers for other products. The windows division makes PVC window profiles, cellular foam coextrusions, sliding doors and sun-room roof systems.
The case involves ``products manufactured and supplied prior to the acquisition of Polypipe by IMI,'' and IMI already has incurred £6 million ($8.4 million) in expenses from the provision that it has set aside for warranty claims.
IMI declined to give details about the customers, specific products and suppliers involved in the warranty case.
Meanwhile, IMI is completing a review of its business strategy, which was announced in March. Details are scheduled to be released in September.
Solvay swaps with Langbein-Pfanhauser
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - Solvay SA plans to swap some businesses with Langbein-Pfanhauser Werke AG
Brussels-based Solvay will acquire plastic laminate maker Cova Products Ltd. of Cramlington, England. Its laminates are used to cover furniture, appliances, leisure equipment and window frames. The unit has 240 workers and annual sales of 36 million euros ($30 million).
In exchange, Dusseldorf, Germany-based LPW will take over Solvay's decorative coverings business, which makes self-adhesives and table tops at plants in France, Germany and the Netherlands.
The Solvay companies employ about 800 and posted annual sales of 122 million euros ($102 million).
Solvay officials said the Cova business will complement its existing line of Alkorcell and Alkortherm foil products and expand its global presence.