Global consumer packaging group Rexam plc, which bought North Versailles, Pa.-based packaging molder Precise Technology Inc. for $257.5 million in November, now plans to close four Precise plants, cutting as many as 178 jobs.
London-based Rexam announced plans Feb. 7 to shut down the four injection molding and mold-making facilities in Pittsburgh, State College, Pa., and St. Petersburg, Fla., during the next year.
Precise, with a workforce of 1,700, serves the health-care, personal-care, and food and beverage markets, providing a variety of injection molded packaging, mostly on a custom basis.
Production will be switched from the closed plants to Rexam's U.S. sites that make tamper-evident and child-resistant closures, plastic containers and cosmetic packaging, according to Rexam.
Rexam will benefit from the addition to its portfolio of Precise's proprietary and custom closures capacity. Closure work from plants being shut will be moved to Rexam's site at Evansville, Ind., according to a spokesman in London. Rexam has other sites molding closures at Princeton, Ind., and Madisonville, Ky., he said.
``The plant closures concern underutilized assets and will contribute to increased profitable growth and synergies within [Rexam's] plastic packaging businesses,'' Rexam said.
``We are trying to maximize the efficiency of these operations. That involves moving around machinery to make the businesses more efficient,'' the spokesman added. He called the Precise operations ``focused and highly skilled businesses.''
Precise's 11 remaining U.S. plants will be integrated into Rexam's pharmaceuticals, closures and containers, and home and personal-care divisions.
Three Precise units - in West Lafayette, Ind.; Wheeling Ill.; and Buffalo Grove, Ill. - will join four European pharmaceutical facilities in Rexam's Pharma division.
Meantime, Rexam's newly formed home and personal-care division is gaining seven U.S. plants: Holden, Mass.; Excelsior Springs, Mo.; Newark, Del.; Streetsboro, Mo.; Anderson, S.C.; and two in Buffalo Grove, one of which makes molds.
The division, expected to be based in Pittsburgh, also will absorb the Precise Netherlands plant in Zevenhuizen and a new facility still under construction in Lodz, Poland.
Rexam said it is integrating its new U.S. operations rapidly. The takeover has turned its pharmaceutical packaging business into a global player ``with access to the key U.S. market.''
Rexam, which employs 23,000 in 20 countries, is the world's leading beverage can maker and is among the globe's top five consumer packaging producers. It has annual sales of around $ 5.4 billion.
Precise Technology, with annual sales worth $300 million, operates more than 200 injection presses with clamping forces of 100-700 tons.