Film producer Applied Extrusion Technologies Inc. will cut 50 positions and close its Peabody, Mass., headquarters in a reorganization.
The company said in a Sept. 23 conference call with analysts that to improve profit and cash flow, it is cutting costs and realigning business units. The changes come three months after the public company announced it had received unsolicited interest by at least one suitor. AET officials acknowledged Sept. 23 that those discussions are continuing.
AET announced a series of management and business changes. President and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Williams will retire, effective Sept. 30. Amin Khoury, founder and chairman, will take Williams' role as CEO, while chief operating officer David Terhune has been promoted to president.
The maker of oriented polypropylene film will close its Massachusetts administrative office by the end of September and move executives to its research and development center in New Castle, Del., Khoury said. After the move, many senior-level positions, including that of general counsel and chief financial officer, will not be filled, Khoury said.
The company also plans to focus more on upcoming ``platinum products,'' shifting more employees and capital resources to new technology and away from lower-margin, traditional OPP film products, he said. Those platinum products include cut-and-stack labels that appear transparent or metalized, and holographic film, Terhune said.
The company has designated about $18 million next year on capital expenditures, mainly for new technology, Khoury said.
AET currently makes about 270 million pounds of OPP film annually and claims a 27 percent share of the U.S. market.
The moves will have no impact on the operations of AET's Films Division in New Castle, said AET Films spokesman William Swain.
AET officials would not field questions about whether the cost trimming was done in preparation for a sale, but said they will issue an update about the sale discussions in two to four weeks.
``All discussions are winding toward the end,'' Khoury said.
Several sources said that both a competitor and a financial buyer have expressed some interest in AET. Dor Chemicals Ltd., a Haifa, Israel-based film maker, was among those rumored in media reports in late June to be interested in the company.