Rigid film producer KlÃ¶ckner Pentaplast GmbH & Co. KG has decided finally to close its troubled film plant in Weert, the Netherlands, with a loss of as many as 333 jobs.
The Dutch facility, originally constructed in 1960, has built up losses totaling almost 25 million euros ($30 million) during the past five years, according to parent company Cinven Ltd. Investments, earlier in that period included an 18 million-pound- per-year PET extrusion line.
KlÃ¶ckner reached the closure decision after talks between the Weert management team and the plant's worker representatives.
``The only way to bring losses to a halt is the actual termination of the operations and the relocation of all activities to other plants in Europe,'' the company stated.
It blamed ``the hugely competitive environment, considerable cost base and small margins realized by the Dutch operations'' for its failure to ``turn the tide.''
Last year the Weert plant produced about 79 million pounds of PVC film and 48 million pounds of PET film. But management would not confirm the number of lines the facility is operating currently.
The company, which is based in Montabaur, Germany, is set to switch Weert's capacity to other plants in Germany and Spain. Several of the PVC film lines are expected to go to KlÃ¶ckner's Montabaur plant and the PET lines to KlÃ¶ckner's Neopl stica Espa¤a SA operation near Girona, Spain, a spokesman said.
The company expects the closure and relocation of the Weert business to take between 18 months and two years.
Weert General Manager Jeroen Koot said KlÃ¶ckner expects to offer about 17 sales personnel and 20 technical/production employees from the Dutch business alternative work in Germany and Spain.
The Netherlands site employed about 400 late last year, but this number has been reduced partly through attrition.
The Dutch plant, a major exporter, has specialized in packaging film including food, pharmaceutical, technical and performance films. KlÃ¶ckner Pentaplast operates 15 production units in eight countries across Europe. Further afield, the group, owned by London-based private equity firm Cinven, also runs KlÃ¶ckner Pentaplast of America Inc., based in Gordonsville, Va.