Tikes looks for president as Lavin exits
HUDSON, OHIO - The president's position is open at Little Tikes Co., as Clancy Lavins left the Hudson toy maker March 18.
``It was mutually agreed upon that he pursue other interests,'' said Little Tikes spokeswoman Laurie Yingling.
Little Tikes, owned by Newell Rubbermaid Inc., has launched a search for a new president, Yingling said.
Lavins could not be reached for comment.
Little Tikes also had a layoff in January at its Hudson headquarters. Yingling said the job reduction totaled 44 people - 35 laid off when their positions were eliminated and nine more through attrition. The positions were white-collar jobs, she said.
Little Tikes employs about 900 in Hudson, its only North American production site, she said.
Nexwood faces asset sale or liquidation
BRAMPTON, ONTARIO - The receiver for wood-plastic composites manufacturer Nexwood Industries Ltd. will attempt to sell it as a going concern, but it will liquidate the firm's assets if that strategy does not work.
PricewaterhouseCoopers of Toronto was appointed receiver and manager for Nexwood on March 15, after the composites producer went into receivership, said PwC representative Darren Griffith. He said his company has no firm deadline for selling the assets.
Nexwood, based in Brampton, has made boards from a blend of plastics and woodlike cellulose since it began operating in 1996. Nexwood President Dedo Suwanda, reached by cell phone, declined to comment. A former employee who wanted to remain anonymous said the firm's landlord locked Nexwood's doors after Nexwood fell three months in arrears for rent. Griffith said his company obtained access to the premises March 30.
Equipment firm owner abducted in Iraq
ROLLING PRAIRIE, IND. - The owner of an Indiana packaging machinery company was kidnapped at gunpoint April 13 near Baghdad and held by an insurgent group.
Jeffrey Ake, president and chief executive officer of Equipment Express of Rolling Prairie, was visiting a water-treatment construction site near Baghdad when he was abducted, according to news reports. Ake's company makes and sells equipment for liquid packaging, including blow molding machines. The firm has assembled systems to make bottles for water and edible oil in Iraq.
Television network Al-Jazeera showed videotape of Ake being held, and later reported that his captors were asking for the exit of U.S. troops from Iraq in exchange for Ake's release. The television footage included an identification card with Ake's name. An Equipment Express receptionist said the company had no comment.
The firm produces and assembles machines that make bottles and that fill, cap and label beverage containers, according to Jeremy Sanders, president of packaging-machine competitor Beverage Industries Corp. of Cheraw, S.C. Equipment Express, which started in Ake's garage in 1997, has built many water systems in North America and has regular business in developing countries, Sanders said.
``I've quoted jobs in Iraq myself,'' Sanders said. ``There's a need to rebuild the country's economy and a lot of interest [in packaging equipment]. But I don't think I would go over there.''
Equipment Express has assembled at least two bottle and filling lines in Iraq since 2003, according to the firm's Web site.
BASF plant closing cuts 50 jobs in N.C.
Florham Park, N.J - BASF Corp. plans to close a nylon resin and feedstocks plant in Enka, N.C., in 2007.
The closing will eliminate 50 jobs. Production from the plant will be moved to a BASF site in Freeport, Texas, where a new resin line will be installed and 10 jobs will be added, according to BASF spokesman David Elliott.
Florham Park-based BASF has been phasing out production at Enka since 2003, when it swapped its fibers products with Honeywell Inc. in return for Honeywell's engineering resins unit. A majority of products made in Enka had been for fibers markets, although the site also produces some injection molding grades of nylon for the automotive market, Elliott said.
The Enka site, which BASF no longer owns, also produces nylon feedstock caprolactam.