Wilbert Inc. plans to close two thermoforming plants now owned by Morton Custom Plastics LLC and merge them into a nearby facility.
Wilbert, one of North America's largest heavy-gauge thermoformers, signed a definitive agreement Oct. 31 to buy the assets of Harrisburg, N.C.-based MCP for an undisclosed price. The sale is expected to close Dec. 15, the tentative date for a court-ordered auction of MCP's assets.
MCP filed a preplanned Chapter 11 statement Nov. 1 in Wilmington, Del., so that Wilbert could purchase company assets and not its liabilities.
Wilbert owns thermoformer TPI of St. Paul, Minn., and purchased three Alltrista Corp. thermoforming plants last year. The speed of integrating the former Alltrista plants led the Forest Park company to look at another acquisition, said Curtis Zamec, Wilbert chairman, president and chief executive officer.
Wilbert will maintain MCP's three large-part injection molding plants, but MCP's struggling thermoforming plants in Harrisburg and Concord, N.C., are expected to shut down, Zamec said. Those operations, including some equipment and workers, will be moved to TPI's plant in Belmont, N.C. All MCP workers will be offered positions at Wilbert, he added.
``We have quite a few locations already in thermoforming,'' he said. ``But this deal expands our sphere of influence in injection molding. It's a very good fit for us on the customer and process side.''