Alcan Inc. plans a major shake-up of its European packaging portfolio, with several planned plant closures and restructuring resulting in as many as 350 job losses.
Changing market conditions in Europe have led the Toronto-based company to consolidate its packaging portfolio to ensure competitiveness and long-term viability.
Apart from closures, Alcan is considering selling two plants: the Techpack cosmetics-packaging facility in Provins, France, and a food-packaging unit in Zaragoza, Spain. The plants have a combined workforce of 320.
Alcan, which is negotiating the proposals with its European employee representatives, has earmarked two flexible food-packaging plants for closure in Germany: a producer of laminated snack packs in Muhltal employing 145, and a yogurt label and lidding maker in Roth with a staff of 66.
The company blamed food-packaging overcapacity in Western Europe for the Muhltal shutdown and dairy- packaging customers relocating to Eastern Europe for the Roth facility's demise. Production will be switched from Roth to the firm's dairy-packaging unit in ZlotÃ³w, Poland.
The firm also plans to close a plant in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, that produces cigarette cartons.
In addition, Alcan intends to reorganize its cosmetics-packaging operations in several European countries, leading to around 100 job losses. It has 19 plants across the region: 11 in France, two in Spain, two in Italy, and one each in Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom.
Of the facilities the company is looking to sell, the Techpack operation in Provins produces mainly deodorant sticks for Dior and perfume packaging. The Zaragoza plant specializes in film-based containers for snack foods and printing, according to an Alcan spokeswoman.
``This proposed realignment is necessary to create favorable conditions for future growth and expansion. Maintaining competitiveness is the best insurance for long-term, sustainable employment,'' said Christel Bories, president and chief executive officer of Alcan Packaging, in a news release.
Earlier, Alcan announced third-quarter profit for its packaging division was down 6 percent against the same period last year, at $157 million, in the face of rising resin costs.