Plastival SAS buys profiles operation
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - Tessenderlo Group, a PVC compounder and processor in Brussels, is growing its business in profiles for the housing sector in France.
The company's Clerval, France-based subsidiary, Plastival SAS, has agreed to buy the PVC profile-making operations of AcÃ´me of Mortain, France. AcÃ´me is selling the profile business to focus on its core cable and wiring operations.
Terms were not disclosed, and the deal is subject to approval by French competition authorities.
Plastival, which serves the window, door, fencing and other markets, has 40 extruders and employs 180.
Pannonplast closing Moldin Ltd. factory
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - Hungarian processor Pannonplast plc is closing a plant in Szombathely, Hungary, in the face of dwindling orders.
The shutdown of Moldin Ltd. will cut 230 jobs by the end of June, said Krisztian Orban, Pannonplast strategic director. Last year the injection molding plant, which makes automotive and electronic components, lost 1 billion Hungarian florints ($4.7 million).
The company had set up the Moldin operation in 1998 to make components for Philips computer monitors. Pannonplast said it will close the plant ``due to the drastic shrinking of the market,'' the result of customers shifting work elsewhere, including to Asia.
Earlier this year, Budapest-based Pannonplast announced a restructuring plan that includes selling five noncore operations to focus on packaging and engineering plastics component manufacturing.
The five businesses being jettisoned include an extruder of brush bristles, a plastic card producer and a recycler. The company also is cutting 126 of its 2,000 employees, in addition to the Szombathely jobs.
Beginning next year, Pannonplast intends to expand its core businesses in Eastern European countries that are due to join the European Union after 2004. Those it is targeting are Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Croatia and Serbia, according to the firm.
The Szombathely plant has 12 injection presses, which will be switched to the Pannonplast Engineering Plastics plc plant at Szekesfeherv r, Hungary.
Growing JCI expands U.K. foam pad plant
WEDNESBURY, ENGLAND - Johnson Controls (UK) Ltd. is investing £5.7 million ($10.4 million) to upgrade its Wednesbury site, where it makes foam pads for car seats and headrests.
The company will improve existing buildings and construct a new one at the complex, which employs 240. The project, set for completion in September, will include a new polyurethane injection molding machine - a Krauss Maffei return-reaction, 42-station racetrack line, according to Wednesbury plant manager Harry Snee.
The plant has seen its customer portfolio grow steadily since it was set up in 1994. It also is responding to higher specification levels and a wider product range demanded by the market.
Regional development agency Advantage West Midlands gave the firm a $1.56 million selective assistance grant for the project.
Johnson Controls (UK) is a unit of Glendale, Wis.-based Johnson Controls Inc.
Bunzl plc purchases nylon parts producer
LONDON - Bunzl plc has expanded in Europe with its purchase, for an undisclosed sum, of nylon components supplier Skiffy Group of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Skiffy, with sales of 12 million euros ($14 million) in 2003, makes small plastic and metal parts including washers, straps, and fasteners. Bunzl bought the firm from IWP International plc, which wants to focus on its personal-care businesses.
The deal will boost the protection and finishing business of Bunzl's plastics processing and cigarette filters subsidiary Filtrona. Bunzl already has European extrusion plants supplying the aerospace, lighting, medical and refrigeration sectors, as well as injection molding facilities producing plugs and caps for the oil and other industries.
In addition, London-based Bunzl has acquired two distribution companies. The firms are Prolix Packaging Inc., a distributor of retail store supplies in Chicago, and O'Mahony Packaging, a Cork, Ireland-based distributor of food-processing supplies.
Costs in U.S. prompt spending cutbacks
WASHINGTON - A National Association of Manufacturers survey suggests the high cost of doing business in the United States has caused factories to cut back on equipment purchases and other capital spending.
Half of the respondents said they delayed or cut back capital spending because of the structural costs plaguing U.S. manufacturing.
Those costs include health care and pensions, and complying with human resource and environmental regulations, according to the NAM survey. The results of the poll of NAM members were released in February as part of the group's National Manufacturing Week trade show in Chicago.
About 84 percent of respondents said they suffered from lower profitability because of those structural costs.
Other answers were: loss of market share (46 percent), layoffs or reduced ability to hire new workers (40 percent), fewer resources for new products and research and development (32 percent), outsourcing work to lower-cost countries (31 percent), less worker training (17 percent) and offshore outsourcing of other functions (12 percent).
Washington-based NAM said 432 companies responded, out of 3,000 randomly surveyed from the group's 14,000 members.