USPoly Co. LLC is relocating its injection molding operations in Shawnee, Okla., about 100 miles to Tulsa, where the company already operates a polyethylene pipe extrusion plant.
USPoly is a subsidiary of Eugene, Ore.-based pipe maker PW Eagle Inc.
PW Eagle officials said they are offering relocation assistance to workers willing to make the transition, though at least one economic development official believes most of the 70 employees will be absorbed into the local manufacturing base in Shawnee.
``The majority of them will already have jobs,'' said Patricia McCormick, executive vice president of the Shawnee Economic Development Authority.
The move has begun, though commercial production continues in Shawnee, said Scott Long, PW Eagle chief financial officer, in an April 20 telephone interview.
``Work needs to be done in Tulsa before we're ready to relocate the equipment,'' he said.
Once the move is complete, the Shawnee facility, which is about 100,000 square feet, will be put up for sale.
Despite a record-setting financial performance for the fourth quarter and fiscal 2005 in general, a group of shareholders in PW Eagle wants the pipe extruder to pursue strategic moneymaking alternatives, including the possibility of selling the company. Two private equity firms, Hamilton, Bermuda-based Caxton International Ltd. and Norwalk, Conn.-based Pirate Capital LLC, which together own 24 percent of USPoly stock, recorded their concerns in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission in March.
PW Eagle will release its first-quarter earnings report May 2.