Struggling battery maker Exide Technologies will close two of its three North American plastics operations and consolidate molding in Pennsylvania as part of a restructuring plan.
The injection molding plants in Jackson, Miss., and Vicksburg, Miss., employ 236 and produce battery storage cases and covers. They will close by May 10. Exide's plant in Lampeter, Pa., will take on the molding for all three sites, the Princeton, N.J.-based company announced March 7.
``These closures are part of our ongoing restructuring efforts, and will result in reduced costs, improving quality and responsiveness in support of our customers,'' President and Chief Executive Officer Craig H. Muhlhauser said in a news release.
The Pennsylvania plant, with 230 employees injection molding cases and covers, duplicated the Mississippi molding operations. The firm can undertake all the molding at the Lampeter site without any expansion, said spokesman Joel Weiden.
The firm has not decided what it will do with the property or equipment in Mississippi, he said.
Exide is under increasing pressure to shore up its bottom line. While it is among the largest global providers of automotive, electronic and industrial battery systems, it has struggled to make money.
For the nine months ended Dec. 31, the business had $1.9 billion in sales, but posted a $230.1 million loss. That compares with sales of $1.7 billion through the same period in 2000 and a loss of $23.4 million.
The company was delisted by the New York Stock Exchange last month for failing to trade at more than $1 per share; its shares were selling March 7 for less than 30 cents. Exide's stock peaked at more than $50 in 1995.