Citing tough economic conditions and high resin costs, PVC calendered film extruder Vernon Plastics Inc. closed suddenly July 16, a day after workers were notified.
Vernon's 225 employees were told July 15 of the immediate shuttering of the plant, a maker of PVC flexible and printed film and laminated products. Vernon has a 175,000-square-foot plant in Haverhill, Mass., with at least two calendering lines, according to previous Plastics News reports.
Vernon's parent firm, Cleveland-based Imperial Home Decor Group Inc., had attempted to sell Vernon during the past several years but found no viable buyers, spokeswoman Theresa Andrikanich said July 15. Recently, an attempt at refinancing the business also failed, she said.
``It's been on a downward trickle for the last few years, and the competitive marketplace has been difficult,'' Andrikanich said. ``It's not the decision we wanted to make. But in the end, we had no choice but to close the plant.''
Imperial had bought the Vernon Plastics facility in March 1998 from New York-based investment bankers Blackstone Group. Vernon was part of Blackstone-owned Borden Decorative Products Holdings Inc., which merged with Imperial Wallcoverings Inc. to create the Cleveland-based home decor group. Imperial had been owned by Collins & Aikman Inc.
Even with those credentials, the company has had a turbulent life. While it is considered one of the world's top makers of residential wallcoverings, the company entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2000. It emerged in April 2001 but now is owned by company creditors.
Vernon makes films for such products as upholstery, pool liners, bookbinders and outdoor advertising. The company, founded in 1951, recorded close to $45 million in sales last year, Andrikanich said. Vernon Plastics President Tom Lombardo, who was appointed in March 2002, was unavailable for comment.