IAC closing Ind. plant, cutting 400 jobs
DEARBORN, MICH. - International Automotive Components Group will close one of the plants it got when it bought former Lear Corp. factories earlier this year.
IAC said it will shutter its Edinburgh, Ind., shop by the second quarter of 2008 to reduce excess capacity.
The Dearborn firm announced the closure Oct. 1. About 400 employees will lose their jobs at the 200,000-square-foot operation, which injection molds door trim and instrument panels for General Motors Corp. and Chrysler Corp.
``This was a difficult decision for the organization,'' said IAC spokeswoman Emily Drake in a news release.
Edinburgh's work will go to an IAC plant in Wauseon, Ohio, according to David Quillen, president of United Auto Workers Local 2401, which represents hourly workers at the Edinburgh facility. Some workers may relocate to an IAC plant in Greencastle, Ind., but they don't have transfer rights, he said.
IAC, created by billionaire Wilbur Ross after he sold International Steel Group, has operations generating annual sales of about $4 billion.
Meredian buys biopolymers technology
BAINBRIDGE, GA. - Meredian Inc., a new biopolymers maker, has bought a related technology portfolio from consumer products leader Procter & Gamble Co. of Cincinnati.
P&G developed the technology - involving polyhydroxyalkanoate - over more than 10 years while exploring ways to make packaging from renewable resources, P&G spokesman Jeff Leroy said. The firm never commercialized the product, but now is a potential customer for Bainbridge-based Meredian.
No purchase price was disclosed in the deal, which was announced Oct. 4. PHA made through the technology is based on oils from soybeans, cottonseed or corn and can be used in fibers, films, bottles and other rigid packaging.
Meredian is to begin work next year on a 30 million-pound-per-year pilot PHA plant. The firm will decide next month if it will build the plant in Georgia or another Southeast state, President S. Blake Lindsey said in a phone interview. The firm wants to open three 200 million-pound-capacity PHA plants by 2013.
Spartech shareholder calls for changes
CLAYTON, MO. - Reed, Conner & Birdwell LLC, a Los Angeles-based investment firm, is calling on Spartech Corp. to hire a financial adviser, a step that could lead to the sale of the company.
In a letter dated Sept. 27 and filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Reed, Conner & Birdwell principal Jeffrey Bronchick said the firm intends to ``actively influence the board of directors through both private and public means.''
According to the filing, the investment firm is Spartech's largest shareholder, with 3.1 million shares, or a 9.8 percent stake. Clayton-based Spartech makes plastic compounds and alloys, sheet and finished molded products.
The letter blasts Spartech's recent purchase of PET sheet extruder and thermoformer Creative Forming Inc. ``It is both inexplicable and lacking in basic common sense to make a $60 million acquisition without a current [chief executive officer] and in the midst of a search for a new CEO,'' the letter said.
George Abd resigned July 16 as CEO, citing personal reasons.
Kentucky site cleanup to cost PolyOne
AVON LAKE, OHIO - PolyOne Corp. will take a third-quarter charge of almost $34 million related to the cleanup of a PVC resin and chemical plant operated by one of its predecessor companies in Calvert City, Ky.
Included in the charge are an initial $15.2 million payment and an increase of $18.7 million in the firm's environmental reserve, officials with Avon Lake-based PolyOne said in an Oct. 5 news release. The charge is the result of a ruling against PolyOne in a case decided in U.S. District Court in Paducah, Ky. That case was brought against PolyOne predecessor Goodrich Corp. by Westlake Vinyls Inc., a Houston-based firm that currently owns the Calvert City plant.
For years, Goodrich dumped waste materials, including vinyl chloride monomer, ethylene dichloride and benzene, into unlined ponds at the site, according to a 2003 Westlake complaint.
PolyOne officials said the firm retains the right to appeal the ruling and ``will challenge amounts that PolyOne believes were improperly invoiced by Goodrich.''