Ill.-based Prairie building plant in N.C.
BEDFORD PARK, ILL. - Prairie Packaging Inc., a Bedford Park, Ill.-based thermoformer and injection molder, is building a 200,000-square-foot facility near Charlotte, N.C., that is to create 242 jobs and cost $48 million.
``We wanted a location in the Southeast,'' said Ben Shapiro, vice president of planning. ``The Charlotte area stuck out for, first, the large, skilled manufacturing workforce and, second, the location and accessibility to transportation.''
Prairie manufactures disposable plastic plates, bowls, cups, cutlery and straws. Its customers include McDonald's Corp.
Prairie will receive tax rebates - North Carolina does not give abatements - from the state, Mecklenburg County and three towns that share ownership of the industrial park: Cornelius, Davidson, and Huntersville. Income tax benefits could reach $1.45 million if Prairie creates 242 jobs and invests $48 million in the next 10 years.
Mark Heath, director of Lake Norman Regional Economic Development Corp., said he hopes that by that time Prairie can create as many as 400 jobs, invest $80 million and expand to 700,000 square feet, which could earn the company tax rebates of $2.5 million. ``That's the ultimate goal,'' Heath said.
Construction in North Carolina is to begin in late summer, and operations should start by the second quarter of 2006.
Creative Bath/M&M employees killed
CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. - Three employees of Creative Bath/M&M Molding Corp. in Central Islip, N.Y., were killed on their way to work June 22 and 12 others were injured, in what police said was a hit-and-run accident.
The accident occurred about 6:30 a.m. on the Southern State Parkway when a BMW hit a converted cargo van carrying the employees, police told the New York Daily News. The van then hit a tree and flipped. Late last week, police still were looking for the driver of the BMW.
Killed were Jean Baptiste Petit-Frere, 51, Jean Gilbert Victor, 32, and his mother, Marie Victor, 57. Twelve other employees were injured; three were still hospitalized June 23, in good condition.
Creative Bath/M&M Molding employs 500. The plant makes plastic bath and housewares products.
Hinkle to buy Creative Foam division
PERRYSBURG, OHIO - Hinkle Manufacturing Inc. plans to expand its automotive packaging business by acquiring Creative Foam Corp.'s Special Packaging Products Division.
Perrysburg-based Hinkle specializes in packaging for Class A surface auto parts shipped to assembly plants. It buys extruded polyethylene foam and shapes it to protect parts shipped in returnable dunnage. It has been in the business more than 40 years, according to President Tab Hinkle.
Hinkle is conducting due diligence and expects to complete the deal in July or August. The division's work is very similar to Hinkle's and would lift Hinkle's annual sales to more than $23 million, Hinkle said in a telephone interview.
In the proposed deal, Hinkle would acquire some machinery and inherit the division's employees. They are based in Fenton, Mich., where Creative Foam has its headquarters. Hinkle currently employs more than 100.
Creative Foam will concentrate on cellular and noncellular foams for automotive and medical markets, President Wayne Blessing said in a news release. The company runs five operations and has several international partnerships and technology agreements in those markets.
Applied Composites Corp. closes doors
ST. CHARLES, ILL. - Applied Composites Corp. has laid off most of its employees and shuttered its 250,000-square-foot facility, according to city officials and a report in the local newspaper.
The Kane County Chronicle reported that the St. Charles facility had been laying off employees since January and is closed, along with a sister facility in Rock Falls, Ill. Attempts to contact plant officials were unsuccessful.
Applied Composites filed a closing notice with the state, saying 160 workers were affected by layoffs.
The compression molder had 21 presses with clamping forces up to 4,000 tons, according to its Web site.
Firms advising Royal on possible sale
WOODBRIDGE, ONTARIO - Profile extruder Royal Group Technologies Ltd. of Woodbridge has hired financial advisers as it considers selling the company.
Deutsche Bank and Scotia Capital have been brought on to help Royal evaluate interest from potential buyers, including a May bid from New York-based firm Cerberus Capital Management LP, which is a hedge fund.
Officials said the process will take several months.