Conduit maker Moore DP LLC has shut its doors.
The Lexington, Ky., firm closed the week of April 12, according to Leonard Eppel, its chief restructuring officer.
``There will either be a sale or liquidation within the next short period of time,'' Eppel said in an April 23 telephone interview. ``I can't define the time.''
Eppel said economic conditions were to blame for the firm's financial problems. It has not filed for bankruptcy. He would not comment on the number of employees affected at extrusion sites in Middlesboro, Ky., and El Reno, Okla.
Moore primarily served the telecommunications market, making high density polyethylene inner duct and conduit, branded as Blue Diamond. Last year the firm announced its involvement in what was hailed as the largest ``fiber to the home'' housing development in North America, in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
But the telecommunications market has been a frail sector for several years. The conduit market went from 550 million pounds in 1997 to roughly 150 million pounds in early 2003, according to industry sources. Many firms that produced conduit began turning to the more-stable water market, where performance is tied to housing starts.
Moore began in 1947 and had focused on communications products since 1986, according to its Web site. From 2000-01, it expanded manufacturing and service capabilities for its growing business. It added an extrusion plant in Erfurt, Germany, where it made conduit and gas pipe.
Eppel said Moore's current assets do not include the Erfurt site, which has been sold. According to Plastics News' 2003 Pipe, Profile and Tubing Extrusion report, Moore had 16 extrusion lines in the two stateside plants and $18 million in pipe sales.