Investment group to help Delphi sell unit
TROY, MICH. - Delphi Corp. has hired a New York investment group to help sell its plastics-intensive interiors unit.
The news should come as no surprise, since the auto parts supplier previously had listed the Cockpits and Interior Systems Division among the noncore businesses it wanted to sell. The company filed in October for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. On July 24, it announced it had brought in Rothschild Inc. to help push the sale forward.
The interiors unit represents a large business opportunity. Troy-based Delphi ranks itself the third-largest producer of instrument panels, consoles and cockpits in North America and the fourth-largest globally.
The Delphi sale also takes in the door module and latch business line, which turns out more than 30 million door systems annually.
The holdings join a market flooded with buying opportunities.
Much of Visteon Corp.'s interiors facilities, now operating at Automotive Component Holdings LLC, are up for sale. Collins & Aikman Corp., North America's largest injection molder, is looking at potential buyers for its facilities as part of a plan to emerge from bankruptcy. Lear Corp. is considering alternatives for its injection molding facilities, among them a proposal that would merge it with Collins & Aikman's under a plan promoted by financier Wilbur Ross.
General Binding to close Wisconsin site
LINCOLNSHIRE, ILL. - General Binding Corp. will close its plastics processing plant in Pleasant Prairie, Wis., by April.
The 45-person operation uses injection molding and extrusion to make office-supply components. Layoffs are scheduled to begin Sept. 15, according to a notice filed with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.
The closure is a repercussion of the merger last year of Northbrook, Ill.-based General Binding and office supplies major Acco Brands Corp., said Acco spokesman Rich Nelson in a telephone interview. Acco will outsource some of Pleasant Prairie's production and move the rest to undisclosed locations. Nelson had no details on the plant's equipment or its fate.
Acco of Lincolnshire merged with General Binding in August 2005, after Fortune Brands spun off its Acco World Office Products. The merger eventually was expected to lead to annual savings of some $40 million through efficiency gains, including low-cost supply chains. Acco is a $2 billion-a-year firm that counts among its brand names Swingline, Day-Timer and Kensington.
Rexam launches injection molding plant
LONDON - Consumer packaging firm Rexam plc has opened an injection molding plant in Lodz, Poland.
The 43,000-square-foot plant has 100 employees and 14 presses, as well as robotics and assembly operations, Rexam officials said in a news release. The facility is part of Rexam's Home & Personal Care unit.
Major consumer goods corporations have launched export-oriented manufacturing projects in Europe and particularly Poland, Rexam said.
London-based Rexam is among the top five consumer packaging companies globally, with annual sales of $5.6 billion in 2005.
According to market research firm Euromonitor plc of London, demand for rigid plastic nonfood packaging rose 30 percent in unit volume between 1998 and 2002. Within that segment, the strongest performer was thin-wall wipes containers, where unit volume sales increased more than tenfold.
Weidmann expanding Alabama facility
RAPPERSWIL, SWITZERLAND - Rapperswil injection molder Weidmann Plastics Technology AG is spending more than $5 million to expand its not-quite 3-year-old Auburn, Ala., plant.
Weidmann launched production at its first North American operation in December 2004 making parts for DaimlerChrysler AG's Mercedes Benz assembly plant in nearby Vance, Ala.
During 2007, the company will add multishot production to its automotive operations and expand its North American unit to begin making parts for customers in the medical and plumbing industries, the company said in a July 26 news release.
Weidmann expects to add about 50 jobs in Alabama. The company has 150 presses globally, with manufacturing in Switzerland and Brazil in addition to the U.S. It posted more than $146 million in sales in 2005.