Vitasheet Group, British Vita plc's newly renamed extruded sheet and film division, plans to close two plants, cutting as many as 140 jobs.
Vitasheet plans to cease production at its former VTS Doeflex facility in Redhill, England, and the Royalite Plastics plant in Caleppio, Italy, by the year's end.
The company, which is Europe's biggest thermoplastic sheet producer, also plans to establish a new, dedicated research and development center at its site in Juich, Germany.
Referring to the plants earmarked for closure, Vitasheet said: ``Both sites suffer a high operating cost that cannot be reduced through efficiency improvements. Also, the products are made at other Vitasheet Group facilities where the cost base is lower.''
The closings will leave Vitasheet with eight sheet plants in Europe.
Vitasheet's director of business development, Luc Chavany, said the company still is analyzing where the work is likely to move.
The restructuring follows the appointment of Rob Harris as Vitasheet's new managing director. Harris was with global oil giant BP plc, where he directed six international subsidiaries.
Last year, at about the time British Vita was acquired by private equity firm Texas Pacific Group of San Francisco, Vita closed another sheet operation in Britain. The VTS Plastech facility in Widnes, England, a producer of polypropylene and high density polyethylene sheet, was shuttered with the loss of around 46 jobs. Local work was reallocated to other sheet sites.
With the latest closure announcement, Vitasheet still will have British and Italian sheet plants with the VTS Royalite facility in Newbridge, Scotland, and the Royalite Plastics srl site in Cuggiono, near Milan, offering sheet in ABS, PVC/ABS flexible and PC blends.
In addition, British Vita runs Vitasheet units in France, Germany, Austria and Denmark. It sold a plant in Thomasville, Ga., last year.
British Vita is based in Accrington, England.