Union opposes C&A plan to close plant
Troy, Mich. - Union leaders say they will fight a decision by Collins & Aikman Corp. to close an injection molding plant in Stratford, Ontario.
``We will not allow this plant to close at the whim of corporate directors and management, which only days before the closure announcement met with our members to discuss future business,'' said Wayne Fraser, Ontario/Atlantic director for United Steelworkers, in an April 7 news release. ``Shutting down was not part of those plans.''
The plant is to close by Oct. 15, with the automotive interior work shifting to nearby C&A facilities. The Troy-based firm wants to move as many of the 350 employees as possible with the work, said company spokesman David Youngman.
``The announcement was an absolute shock,'' said Local 6720 President Ben Haynes. ``We want to explore other options with the company. Now is not the time to roll over and accept the decision at face value.''
C&A expanded the facility in 1999 when it shifted molding there from an injection molding operation it closed in Homer, Mich. The firm had nearly $4 billion in sales for 2003, with a loss of $57.5 million, including restructuring costs of $49.9 million.
The Stratford facility was not among the 12 plants on a C&A list of troubled plants targeted for efficiency and profitability reviews last year.
Medegen purchases Maximus Medical
SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ. - Medical molder Medegen Holdings LLC has bought a California supplier of intravenous therapy sets, a move Medegen said will boost its offshore manufacturing in China and Mexico.
Medegen announced April 8 that it bought Maximus Medical Products Inc. in Costa Mesa, Calif., for undisclosed terms.
The deal gives Medegen an expanded sales force directly into hospitals, and complements the company's acquisition last year of injection molder KippGroup and its IV business, said Jeff Goble, president of Medegen's Medical Manufacturing Services unit in Scottsdale.
Equally important, Medegen said, it will inherit molding, assembly and packaging operations in China and Mexico that Maximus currently uses. Maximus does not own those operations, but subcontracts its manufacturing there, Goble said.
Medegen is not going to move any ``material'' amount of its existing production into that low-cost supply chain, and anticipates that it mainly will be used for new products, he said. The offshore supply chain gives Medegen significant new capabilities to offer its customers, he said.
KippGroup has some IV products, primarily components, but the Maximus buy expands that to include finished IV therapy devices, Goble said. Maximus had been a distributor of some KippGroup products, and Medegen had been trying to buy the firm since it bought KippGroup in Ontario, Calif., in August.
Medegen, which has about $100 million in annual sales, does about 80 percent of its business from proprietary products.
Lubrizol pays $1.84 billion for Noveon
BRECKSVILLE, OHIO - On second thought, Noveon Inc. won't be making that initial public offering.
The Brecksville-based compounder, resin maker and specialty chemical producer was acquired April 16 for $1.84 billion by Lubrizol Corp., a specialty chemicals firm in Wickliffe, Ohio.
Noveon had filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in late February to take itself public. AEA Investors Inc., a New York investment firm, had bought Noveon from Goodrich Corp. for $1.4 billion in late 2000.
The acquisition by Lubrizol - a publicly traded supplier of specialty additives and lubricants - includes $920 million in equity and another $920 million in the assumption of debt. Lubrizol posted sales of about $2.1 billion in 2003 and employs 5,000 at 37 plants worldwide.
The deal will result in savings of $40 million during the next three years, according to President James Hambrick, who will succeed W.G. Bares as chief executive officer later this month.
Lubrizol spokesman James Baldwin said the acquisition is the largest in Lubrizol's 76-year history. Since 2000, Lubrizol had made eight acquisitions, adding $200 million in annual sales.
Noveon employs 2,800 at 27 global sites. The firm had sales of $1.1 billion last year, including specialty PVC, thermoplastic polyurethane and cross-linked polyethylene product lines.