Bemis to move film converting plant
MINNEAPOLIS - Shifting work to more-modern facilities, flexible packaging company Bemis Co. Inc. will shutter its Murphysboro, Ill., film converting plant in September.
Minneapolis-based Bemis plans to move the work to its Curwood Group packaging complex, based in Oshkosh, Wis., said Bemis spokeswoman Melanie Miller. Bemis officials debated whether to modernize the Murphysboro printing facility, but decided it would be more cost-effective to move the work, Miller said.
The decision, announced to workers July 8, affects 115 employees. The facility, started in 1968, performs six-color printing for Bemis' high-barrier film group. The plant was updated in the early 1980s but would need new equipment to automate production, Miller said.
Bemis is bracing for a difficult quarter for earnings. The company cautioned analysts July 9 that it would miss its profit targets by a large margin. The company blamed a poor economy and high resin costs for lowering its profit estimates. Legal fees of about $2 million to fight the U.S. government over the sale of its sticky label operations to a Finnish company also contributed to the downturn.
The company did not announce additional layoffs or plant closings. ``It's always a difficult decision to close a plant,'' Miller said. ``We'd like to expand the business and grow our [facilities] as opposed to closing plants to cut costs.''
Fenway buys Riddell Sports Group
CHICAGO - Fenway Partners Inc., a New York buyout firm, announced July 7 that it bought Chicago-based Riddell Sports Group Inc. for about $100 million.
The previous owner of the football helmet operation was New York investment firm Lincolnshire Management Inc., which had purchased the company for $61 million in 2001. According to Lincolnshire's Web site, Riddell has annual sales of about $100 million.
Riddell Sports Group, which was founded in 1922, makes helmets with injection molded shells with energy-absorbing padding inside. Customers include NFL, college, high school and youth teams. This is not Fenway's first plastics-related holding. In 1995 it bought MW Manufacturers Inc., a Rocky Mount, Va., fabricator and distributor of vinyl windows and doors. Fenway sold MW to New York-based Investcorp on Jan. 23.
American Capital Strategies Ltd. of Bethesda, Md., provided $23 million in financing for Fenway's Riddell deal.
NPE registrations drop nearly 30%
CHICAGO - NPE 2003 closed its week-long run in Chicago to a chorus of mostly pleased exhibitors, despite posting a 30 percent drop in registrants compared with the last NPE show.
Registration for the June 23-27 event at McCormick Place plunged 29.8 percent to 63,238, vs. the record 90,142 reported at NPE in the boom year of 2000. The 10,930 non-U.S. registrants represented about 17 percent of the total, down slightly from the 19 percent represented by the 17,117 foreign registrants at the last show.
This year's 1,932 exhibitors occupied nearly 1.02 million square feet of space, compared with the 2,014 exhibitors that booked 1.14 million square feet three years ago.
Davis-Standard lays off 50 at Conn. HQ
PAWCATUCK, CONN. - Machinery maker Davis-Standard Corp. will lay off about 50 employees from its headquarters plant in Pawcatuck.
Joe Genovese, human resources director, confirmed July 11 that the company had informed the union about pending cutbacks on June 27, the last day of NPE week.
He said the cutbacks are being done to adjust the company's product mix to meet anticipated lower volumes for machines made there.
Davis-Standard makes extruders, sheet equipment, reclaim equipment and extrusion machines for wire and cable in Pawcatuck.
Genovese said the company's plant in Somerville, N.J., is not included in the layoffs. That plant makes blow molding machines and equipment for producing blown and cast film.
``This is so we can effectively meet customer demands,'' Genovese said. ``We're confident we'll be able to meet all production schedules.''