Nickelson expanding despite Chapter 11
Nickelson Plastics Inc., a PVC dip molder and coater, plans to build a plant in Fort Payne, Ala., even though it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Nickelson of Osceola sought protection from creditors July 9 after saying it had no reasonable alternative, according to a petition filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Minneapolis.
The company owes secured creditor Itasca Business Credit Inc. of Minneapolis nearly $1.8 million and is indebted to 20 unsecured creditors for more than $300,000, according to the filing. Nickelson's liabilities total almost $4.5 million on assets of $3.55 million, according to the filing.
The bankruptcy proceeding will be short, and the company expects the business to continue growing, Nickelson President and Chief Executive Officer John Mathiesen said July 17.
``We are going through a formal restructuring,'' Mathiesen said. ``We're very positive on the outcome to the point where we're still going forward with plans to relocate'' operations from Johnson, Tenn., to Alabama. Nickelson will open a 30,000-square-foot plant in Fort Payne by January, he said. The 15-employee facility will serve playground-equipment makers PlayCore Inc. and its GameTime subsidiary, Mathiesen said.
The plant represents an investment of about $2.7 million, local development officials said.
Sonoco Products may close 18 more plants
HARTSVILLE, S.C. - Sonoco Products Co. plans to close as many as 18 plants by the end of the year to cut costs by $60 million.
During a July 16 conference call with analysts, the packaging company said the closings will take place in an aggressive time frame, with a plan in place in the third quarter. The Hartsville company did not say which plants it will close or which segments will be affected.
Sonoco, a large paperboard producer, makes a variety of rigid and flexible plastic packaging. It has a large high-density polyethylene film operation. The company also injection molds industrial products used in wire and textile applications.
Sonoco just completed a restructuring that cut 18 plants and eliminated 1,100 jobs. In April at the Packaging Strategies conference in Atlanta, Sonoco Chief Executive Officer Harris DeLoach said the firm had a sense of urgency to reduce costs.
Royal Group death under investigation
CONCORD, ONTARIO - The Ontario Ministry of Labour is investigating the July 10 death of a worker at Royal Group Technologies Ltd.
Tamescwerdut Misir, 54, was pronounced dead on the scene after he was pinned between two bags of resin, each weighing 2,420 pounds. The incident occurred at Royal Plastics Co. in Concord, which is Royal Group's compounding division. Misir had worked for the Woodbridge, Ontario-based firm for about two years, officials said.
The Labour Ministry ordered Royal to ensure precautions and safeguards were in place for safe handling of materials, and the firm no longer can stack bags of resin. Royal has met those requirements, said the agency's spokeswoman, Belinda Sutton.
Royal's corporate health and safety staff and Royal Plastic's health and safety committee continue to investigate the cause of the accident as well, said Mark Badger, Royal's spokesman.
``Mr. Misir is believed to have been attending to a leak in a bag of pellets at the time of the accident,'' Badger said in a July 17 telephone interview.
Safety panel rules against PTFE label
BETHESDA, MD. - The Consumer Product Safety Commission turned down a request from an environmental group that warning labels be placed on cookware with the nonstick coating polytetrafluoroethylene, or Teflon.
The Environmental Working Group wanted the labels because it said PTFE-coated kitchen products, when they are overheated, can give off up to 15 chemicals that harm animals and may make people sick.
But CPSC, based in Bethesda, said EWG did not produce evidence that people are harmed.
``Your submission does not provide information that shows that these chemicals are released in amounts that would, during a consumer's use of the product ... cause human illness or injury,'' CPSC said.
The commission acknowledged in its June 27 letter to EWG that some pet birds have gotten sick or died from ``polymer fume fever,'' caused by offgassing from overheated PTFE.