Regal shuts down, eliminating 200 jobs
OWOSSO, MICH. - Injection molder Regal Plastics Co. has closed, unable to find a buyer to keep the Owosso-based automotive supplier in operation.
The company still is in talks to sell its assets, including its fleet of 33 presses and auxiliary equipment, but 200 jobs ended Jan. 30.
``There has been a long process to find a buyer that would save the jobs and keep things going in Owosso,'' said Regal spokesman Shaun Wilson. ``This is another casualty of a tough economy for auto suppliers.''
Regal had an estimated $30 million in sales in 2002.
The firm's board said in a news release the day before the closing that it will assist former employees with job placement and unemployment services and that it is in talks with creditors.
Regal opened in 1985 and was part of William Pickard's group of holdings. He also is a partner in blow molder Vitec LLC of Detroit. The closure does not affect other Pickard companies.
``We have exhausted every resource possible to protect the jobs,'' the Regal board said.
The company had received positive reviews from customers, including six straight awards as a General Motors Corp. ``Supplier of the Year.'' It also steadily invested in new equipment, including an all-electric Ube press purchased in 2002.
Warburg Pincus may acquire Clondalkin
DUBLIN, IRELAND - Flexible packaging company Clondalkin Group Holdings Ltd. - the owner of Fortune Plastics Inc. in the United States - is close to being purchased by New York private equity firm Warburg Pincus International LLC, according to sources close to the purchase.
The seller, Candover Investments plc of London, expects to reach a final agreement in a matter of days, according to the sources.
Candover bought the Dublin company in November 1999 for 550 million euros ($586 million), but put the company on the block early last year, attracting initial interest from several U.S. buyout firms. According to The Deal, a U.S. newspaper, Warburg Pincus will pay at least 650 million euros ($826 million).
Clondalkin's subsidiaries include Fortune Plastics, an Old Saybrook, Conn.-based film extruder and converter. The parent company has 40 manufacturing operations in Ireland, Britain, Germany, Switzerland and the United States using cast and blown film extrusion, coating, laminating and printing processes. End markets include food and beverage, consumer products, health care and agriculturel/horticulture.
Since Candover's takeover, Clondalkin has grown by acquisition, notably with its 2001 purchase of plastics, foil and carton packaging company Frievaart Holdings BV of Leeuwarden, the Netherlands. That deal added six plants in Germany and the Netherlands.
Clondalkin recorded 2002 profit of 93.8 million euros ($88.7 million) on sales of 710.4 million euros ($672 million).
F&S doubles space, adds tool sampling
ERIE, PA. - Mold builder F&S Tool Inc. has completed a major expansion that more than doubles the size of its Erie facility and adds a product development center.
The company finished the yearlong, $1.7 million project with the goal of adding in-house tool-sampling, said Jim Dinger, F&S vice president of sales and marketing. The firm now can make sample parts in-house from its injection molds, Dinger said.
``By the time the mold is sent outside for sampling and then is returned for debugging, we could have a week's delay. Now, we can make adjustments overnight and have the tool ready the next day,'' Dinger said.
The company added 17,000 square feet to the site, increasing total space to about 27,000 square feet, he said. Some of the new space will be used for mold assembly. F&S added an all-electric Husky press with clamping force of 500 tons, a 300-ton Husky press and a 100-ton machine from Van Dorn Demag.
The company has started making compression tooling for beverage closures, a developing market, Dinger said.
Co-owned by Michael Faulkner and four of his brothers, F&S specializes in molds for consumer closures, beverage bottles and disposable medical products. The company has about 55 employees and sales of about $10 million annually, Dinger said.