Bleyer Industries Inc. has major changes in the air, as it is selling two manufacturing plants and seeking a joint venture or buyer for a third site in Peoria, Ill.
The Valley Stream, N.Y., firm operates an injection molding site in Peoria; an extrusion site in Mount Union, Pa.; and printing and converting operations in Hauppauge, N.Y.
The Peoria plant injection molds Easter eggs. Local news reports have said that plant will close.
``We're not closing the [Peoria] plant,'' President Nicholas Poulis said in a March 26 telephone interview. ``We're considering an outright sale or a joint venture. It does need another product line in there. Due to loss of sales to imported plastic eggs, that's why we're looking for another buyer.''
Bleyer Industries has been in business since 1958, making seasonal products and decorations for the retail and industrial markets. At the Peoria site, acquired in 1989, 35 machines produce plastic eggs and related holiday products. Officials believe it is the largest domestic operation producing Easter eggs. That operation supports nearly 50 full-time core employees, but Bleyer was forced to lay off 40 employees the week of March 22, officials said.
``We spent billions of dollars in automating the facility,'' Poulis said. ``It's very tough competition when you have those imported items coming in. ... We'd like to keep it in Peoria and preserve all the jobs. That's our objective.''
Its Mount Union operation is focused on plastic Easter grass and gift wrap. Officials expect to announce a buyer in about one month.
``That's a growth type of business,'' Poulis said.