Injection molder EPP files for bankruptcy
YPSILANTI, MICH. - Injection molder Engineered Plastic Products Inc. has filed for Chapter 11 protection with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Detroit with plans to restructure its debts and continue operations.
The March 9 filing is part of a planned move to improve the Ypsilanti-based auto supplier's cost structure, said Timothy Dumond, director of restructuring consulting group Stout Risius Ross Inc. The firm has financing in place that will allow it to continue manufacturing.
EPP has been facing multiple issues related to the costs of being a Tier 1 auto supplier, Dumond noted, including rising resin prices, overhead and the expense of an addition launched last year at its Lima, Ohio, facility.
The firm turns out interior trim in Ypsilanti, Lima and Owosso, Mich., for automakers General Motors Corp. and DaimlerChrysler Corp. and supplier Johnson Controls Inc.
EPP has annual sales of about $63 million and 548 employees. It also has an engineering facility in Auburn Hills, Mich.
The company's filing noted it has more than 100 creditors. Toolmaker Premier Mold of Sterling Heights, Mich., is its largest unsecured creditor, with $2.6 million in trade debt. Other top creditors include Basell USA, with $1.2 million in trade debt; Johnson Controls Inc., with $829,000; and toolmaker Valiant Tool & Mold Inc., with $560,000 in trade debt.
Ferromatik laying off workers in Germany
MALTERDINGEN, GERMANY - Ferromatik Milacron Maschinenbau GmbH's injection press factory in Malterdingen announced March 7 that it will reduce capacity and lay off an as-yet-undetermined number of employees.
A company news release announced ``a strategic and organizational alignment,'' but was short on details.
The Malterdingen factory currently employs 450, said spokeswoman Julia Andris. She declined to comment beyond the news release.
The company is negotiating with its Works Council to determine the number of job cuts. Plant workers are represented by Germany's IG Metall union.
As Cincinnati-based parent company Milacron Inc. struggles to return to profitability, the machinery and mold-components maker has done European restructurings in recent years, mainly consolidating its Uniloy Milacron blow molding equipment factories there.
Although business has bounced back in Milacron's key North American market, with profitability and higher sales, Europe remains a weak point. The news release from Germany cites competition from injection press makers in low-wage countries, pricing pressure, higher oil prices that reduced demand for equipment and raw material prices such as steel.
Milacron's European machinery business lost $4.9 million in 2005, after earning $1.9 million in 2004.
N.Y. company acquiring film maker P&O
TAMPA, FLA - Viapack Inc. of New York is following through on its promise to target acquisitions in film extrusion, announcing its purchase of P&O Packaging Ltd., a maker of custom monolayer and coextruded polyethylene films in Dalton, Ga.
The investment company plans to expand capacity in Dalton and will add coextrusion capacity at Allied Extruders Inc. in New York, officials said in a March 8 news release.
The deal closed March 3, according to transaction adviser Blaige & Co. of Chicago. Members of P&O's senior management also invested in the buyout.
``The acquisition is a significant step forward in Viapack's evolution,'' Robert Isen, chief executive officer of Viapack, said in the news release.
P&O's senior management team will stay intact under President Ben Brashears, officials said.
P&O was owned by private equity firm Pinecrest Capital Inc. of Miami, whose officials held it for the traditional seven- to eight-year window, Blaige CEO Tom Blaige said in a March 7 interview at the Plastics News Executive Forum in Tampa.
He said the deal is another example of the fragmentation of the film and sheet sector and represents private equity 's interest in the segment.
P&O was formed in 1978 and operates from a 60,000-square-foot site in Dalton, officials said.