Meridian seeks OK for reorganization
DEARBORN, MICH. - Meridian Automotive Systems Inc. has filed a reorganization plan that would allow it to emerge from bankruptcy with an operational layout similar to one it had when it sought protection under Chapter 11 nearly a year ago.
The Dearborn auto supplier still must win approval for its plan, filed March 30 with U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del. The proposal calls for trading existing debt for new equity in the company, selling and leasing back its new facility in Fowlerville, Mich., and selling off its interior trim operations.
Meridian entered Chapter 11 at the end of April 2005. The firm specializes in exterior auto parts, such as composite body panels and complete bumper systems, including the thermoplastic fascia, foam energy absorber and metal support beam.
It does a small amount of injection molding for interior parts and wants to sell that operation as part of the reorganization.
Meridian also proposes to sell its newly opened Fowlerville bumper plant to First Industrial Acquisitions Inc. for nearly $18.3 million, using the cash as part of its restructuring finances. Meridian will continue to operate at the site, however, leasing the building back from the Chicago-based investment group.
Smithers buys Rapra out of receivership
AKRON, OHIO - Smithers Group Inc. has purchased Rapra Technology Ltd. to broaden the testing, research, analytical and information services it provides to companies in the rubber and plastics industries.
The deal, for an undisclosed amount, closed April 4.
Shawbury, England-based Rapra, which went into receivership March 8, will become a Smithers subsidiary. Rapra's staff of 118, employed at its sites in Shawbury and Billingham, England, will transfer to Smithers, which has a workforce of 500.
Akron-based Smithers bought Rapra because its portfolio is a good match for the group. ``Like Rapra, we are also long-established and independent,'' said Chief Executive Officer and President Michael Hochschwender.
Avery Dennison adds capacity at Pa. site
PASADENA, CALIF. - Avery Dennison Corp. is spending $20 million to expand finishing and coating capacity at Quakertown, Pa.
The firm's Fasson Roll division will install a new coater there that will begin operating early in 2007, said spokeswoman Judy Abelman. The company did not provide other details.
The investment is aimed at Avery Dennison's high-growth film markets in food, beverage, household and personal care.
Fasson Roll is based in Painesville, Ohio. Avery Dennison of Pasadena had sales of $5.5 billion last year.
ADS expands corrugated pipe operation
HILLIARD, OHIO - Advanced Drainage Systems is nearly doubling the size of its plant in Livermore, Ky., and plans to add employees at its corrugated high density polyethylene pipe-making operations there, according to Northwest Kentucky Forward, an economic development agency.
ADS is investing about $375,000 in the project, which will add 13,500 square feet to its 15,000-square-foot facility in Livermore, the Henderson, Ky.-based agency said in a news release. The Livermore site employs about 70. ADS will add about five employees.
Wes Garrison, ADS plant manager in Livermore, said in the release that the expansion paves the way for growth at the plant.
``This will allow us a good opportunity to expand production in Livermore in the future,'' Garrison said.
Hilliard-based ADS will break ground in early April and is set to complete the expansion in the fall, the release said.
Century Mold gets $16 million infusion
ROCHESTER, N.Y. - Financial group PNC Mezzanine Capital is backing injection molder and mold maker Century Mold Co. Inc. with a $16 million investment.
Pittsburgh-based PNC said in a March 24 news release that the senior subordinated debt investment will help finance capital equipment for Century's new facility in Monroe, Ohio.
Century, based in Rochester, has been growing by purchasing new technology and new sites in North America and China. The $16 million from PNC is part of a $40 million financial package supporting the firm's expansion.
Century specializes in under-the-hood auto parts.