Bankrupt Nexpak closing plant in N.J.
UNIONTOWN, OHIO - Nexpak Corp., a maker of jewel-box cases that has been in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection since July, is closing a New Jersey plant, according to a state filing.
The Uniontown-based company will shut its South Hackensack, N.J., facility by Feb. 14 and lay off 102 workers, said spokesman Robert Corrales of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development in Trenton. The company filed notice with the state in late November.
Nexpak is attempting to emerge from Chapter 11 protection and has said in court filings that it plans to restructure some of its operations to lower debt. The company filed for protection July 18 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Canton, Ohio.
The firm bought the injection molding plant in August 1999 from Alpha Enterprises Inc. of North Canton, Ohio.
Nexpak is working with its secured lenders, who plan to finance the reorganization and take control of the company. The lenders' group, led by Dallas-based equity firm Highland Capital Management LP, is considering an amended plan filed Dec. 11 by Nexpak to allow the group to control the board of directors, according to a filing.
Company officials and lawyers did not return several telephone calls seeking comment.
Wenonah launches Minn. kayak facility
WINONA, MINN. - Wenonah Canoe has paddled into a new kayak production plant in Winona.
The 45,000-square-foot plant opened in early December. Previously, Winona-based Wenonah had made most of its kayaks at a smaller plant in Victoria, British Columbia, which now is closed. The new site is expected to employ 45, according to spokeswoman Christine Aitken.
Wenonah makes its kayaks through three production methods - rotational molding, thermoforming and composite molding. Its rotomolded kayaks are made of high density polyethylene, while its thermoformed products are made of ABS and acrylic resins and its composite molded line is made of fiberglass, graphite and Kevlar-brand aramid fibers, designer Dave Kruger said.
In total, Wenonah employs 110 and expects to post sales of between $15 million and $20 million in 2004.
HPI establishes new management team
CHICAGO - Housewares major Home Products International Inc. has a new management team, roughly six weeks after Storage Acquisition Co. LLC bought out the firm for $16.3 million.
The Chicago-based injection molder named Doug Ramsdale chief executive officer and Rich Hassert chief operating officer.
According to a company news release, Ramsdale was instrumental in the turnaround of the Installed Systems Division of L.R. Nelson Corp. in Peoria, Ill., which makes lawn and garden watering products.
Hassert most recently served as vice president of operations for Digital Innovations LLC, a Chicago-based consumer products firm specializing in disc repair and maintenance, gaming and accessories.
HPI's new board of directors will be chaired by Joe Gantz, a former HPI director. Gantz is a 30-year veteran of the housewares market and a partner in Walnut Investment Partners LP of New York.
HPI's headquarters will stay in Chicago.
Solar closing Iowa site, transferring work
MINNEAPOLIS - Minneapolis-based rotational molder Solar Plastics Inc. will close its plant in Sioux City, Iowa, moving the molding work to its factories in Davenport, Iowa, and Delano, Minn.
``We are going to transfer the vast majority of the work to our other plants,'' said David Koenig, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the custom rotomolder.
Solar employs 35 at the Sioux City plant. Koenig said the company has offered those workers jobs at the other locations, and about half of them have expressed an interest in relocating. The firm also is contacting other Sioux City employers and state agencies to help the employees, he said.
Solar will move three of the six rotomolding machines in Sioux City to its other factories. Koenig said the company has not decided what to do with the remaining three machines.
While Koenig did not provide a time line, local news reports said workers have been told the plant will close in about a month.