Pressac to shed U.S., U.K. units
DERBY, ENGLAND - Beleaguered British-based component molder Pressac plc, which suffered badly from last year's dramatic global telecommunications industry downturn after investing heavily in new capacity, announced it is selling two automotive parts operations, in England and the United States.
Meanwhile, the company revealed that it is in talks with several would-be buyers for the rest of its operations.
Pressac of Derby has agreed to sell a 51 percent stake in Pressac Interconnect Ltd. of Nottingham, England, and Pressac Inc. of Cullman, Ala., in a management buyout.
The operations are being sold to In2connect Ltd., a company formed by the management team led by David Whittaker, the present managing director of the Interconnect businesses, for £4.28 million ($6.2 million), according to Pressac.
In April, when Pressac reported its 2001 annual results, the company revealed the extent of its troubles. The company's telecommunications unit reported a loss of £1 million ($1.4 million), down from a profit of £8 million ($11.6 million) last year. Profit from the automotive businesses was down by more than 50 percent at £8.2 million ($12 million).
Last year Pressac announced it was launching a number of moves designed to restructure the company and reduce debt. It also indicated it would look at selling noncore operations.
Liquid Container plans La. plant
WEST CHICAGO, ILL. - Liquid Container LP/Plaxicon Co. plans to open a bottle blow molding plant in Hammond, La., this year.
The company, based in West Chicago, will use the 180,000-square-foot facility for a production and warehouse operation that will employ about 50. Liquid Container considered other potential sites in Louisiana but chose Hammond because local government helped it find the facility and will help with improvements, Bill Williams, president and chief executive officer, said in a news release.
Liquid Container will make PET and high density polyethylene containers in Hammond to support the firm's growth in the South. It now runs 12 production plants across the country and has annual sales of more than $200 million.
USPL gets extension on sale date
BOCA RATON, FLA. - U.S. Plastic Lumber Corp. now expects to close the sale of its Clean Earth Inc. subsidiary in 60-90 days. USPL's lenders have extended a deadline that would have required the firm to pay a fee if it could not close the sale by June 1.
Officials expect to announce details within the next two weeks, including the identity of the buyers for the unit.
Boca Raton-based USPL is depending on that $45 million transaction to pay down debt and focus on its plastic lumber division, officials have said. The sale would allow USPL to pay off its $39.9 million senior credit facility, according to the firm's 10-K filed April 1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
``We are moving forward with the deal,'' Mark Alsentzer, USPL's chief executive officer, said in a May 30 telephone interview.
USPL reported $36.9 million in sales for the first quarter and its first positive operating profit in 21 months for both operating units.
Coperion expanding capacity
RAMSEY, N.J. - Extrusion equipment supplier Coperion Corp. plans to expand production capacity and streamline operations to improve efficiency in North America for its ZSK twin-screw and Kneader extruder-screw elements, barrels and related parts.
Coperion said it will double the size of its screw manufacturing plant in Wytheville, Va., and relocate a screw production operation in Ramsey to Wytheville, said Richard Taylor, vice president of engineering and manufacturing.
The company also said it will close a separate barrel and process parts operation and move the manufacturing to its Ramsey headquarters, adjacent to its new extruder assembly operation and warehouse.