Kawaguchi seeks protection from debt
SHIZUOKA, JAPAN - Facing mounting debts, Japanese injection press builder Kawaguchi Ltd. filed for protection from creditors in Shizuoka District Court.
The company, owned by the Kawaguchi family, makes injection molding machines with clamping forces of 55-716 tons. The Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun newspaper reported that Kawaguchi, based in Shizuoka, filed July 17 for protection under Japan's Civil Rehabilitation Law. The paper said Kawaguchi's total debt is $39 million.
Patrick Miura, vice president and general manager of Kawaguchi's U.S. subsidiary, Kawaguchi Inc. in Wheeling, Ill., confirmed the company has sought protection from creditors, but he declined to provide details. Miura referred questions to Kawaguchi headquarters in Japan. Kawaguchi spokesman Sean H. Ohata said the company shut down operations for three days but has resumed normal operations.
Kawaguchi has manufactured injection molding machines for more than 40 years. In 1999 the company established its wholly owned subsidiary in Illinois to handle U.S. sales and service, ending a relationship with distributor Tomen America Inc.
Simonton expands with Oklahoma plant
PARKERSBURG, W.VA. - Simonton Building Products Inc. is expanding to the Southwest with a $10 million vinyl window fabrication plant in McAlester, Okla.
The new plant, scheduled to open in summer 2002, replaces the company's 1999 plan to open a facility in Albany, Ga., said spokeswoman Peggy Hayes. The company axed plans for the Georgia facility because of increased volume in the Southwest and Great Plains states.
``We'll begin site preparation in the fall of this year and hope to begin soliciting applications for employment as early as April 2002,'' said John Brunett, president and chief operating officer.
The plant will occupy 172,000 square feet and will employ 125 within the first year. Once it is at full capacity, the company expects to employ 300 there, according to a company news release.
Parkersburg-based Simonton will manufacture windows under its brand of the same name and the Owens Corning brand.
The company operates manufacturing facilities in Ellenboro, Harrisville and Pennsboro, W.Va.; Vacaville, Calif.; and Paris, Ill.; and it has one vinyl extrusion facility in St. Marys, W.Va.
Consumers Packaging to sell PET unit
TORONTO - Consumers Packaging Inc. plans to sell its PET containers business as part of a general plan to sell its assets to pay off creditors.
Pet-Pak Containers operates nine PET blow molding lines at its plant in Mississauga, Ontario. It reported sales of US$13.6 million for 1999.
Consumers announced Aug. 3 that it is selling its Canadian glass container production assets, by far the largest chunk of its assets, to Owens-Illinois Inc. of Toledo, Ohio. The agreement excludes Pet-Pak and glass operations in Pennsylvania, Italy, Israel, Ukraine and Belarus, which Consumers wants to divest in other transactions.
Consumers needs approval of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice for the Owens-Illinois deal. It will use the funds from the sale to pay creditors that filed claims May 23 when Consumers filed for court protection. The Toronto firm said funds from the sale, at C$235 million (US$155.1 million), will not be sufficient to pay all its debts.
The court will hear Consumers' sale plan in late August. Consumers expects to close the sale to Owens-Illinois by late September. The six glass container plants in the deal generate annual sales of about US$300 million.
SPI combines meetings in Las Vegas
WASHINGTON - The Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.'s national Molders Division and Western Region plan to hold a joint conference March 10-13 in Las Vegas.
The Molders Division ``has decided for the foreseeable future to partner with other SPI business units or regions,'' Walt Bishop, the division's executive director, said in a telephone interview. This year the molders met with SPI's machinery and mold makers divisions in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Possible jointly planned programs would target innovation and re-engineering, business planning and original-equipment-manufacturer needs, said Michael Smith, SPI West chairman. The SPI West conference, which often is located in Coronado, Calif., was held this year in Hawaii.