French toymaker Smoby-Majorette SA has sold two of its plants.
Leading European packaging company RPC Group plc purchased a Smoby-Majorette extrusion blow molding plant in Moirans-en-Montagne, France, and a plant in Noux-les-Mines went to Stard SA, a packaging company based in Yvelines, France.
Smoby-Majorette has been in receivership since October, when a French court rejected a recovery plan proposed by MGA Entertainment Inc., a Van Nuys, Calif., toy company that had purchased the company for 1 euro ($1.45) in May.
RPC of Higham Ferrers, England, bought the Moirans-en-Montagne plant for ``less than £1 million'' ($2 million ), according to RPC. The company said the purchase gives it an efficient French producer of stock containers. The company agreed to make the purchase only after Smoby's administrators cut 21 jobs in Moirans-en-Montagne; the plant now employs 52.
RPC said the Moirans-en-Montagne plant generated sales of about £12 million ($24 million) annually until earlier this year, when its performance suffered under Smoby-Majorette's financial uncertainty.
``This [Moirans-en-Montagne plant] is a very efficient producer and we hope that it has not lost too much of the market and that we can rebuild the business,'' said RPC finance director Chris Sworn.
The plant, which has been renamed RPC Emballages Moirans SA, runs around 10 extrusion blow molding lines making high density polyethylene and polypropylene containers. RPC has 13 blow molding plants located across Europe.
The Noux-les-Mines plant, which Stard SA purchased, employs about 65. Stard also owns glass and plastic bottles producer Sted Flaconnage SAS of Ozoir-la-Ferriere, France.
The future of the remainder of Smoby-Majorette is unclear. A French court placed the former No. 2 European toy maker in receivership when it rejected MGA's recovery plan for the company.
MGA Chief Operating Officer Didier Pietri recently met informally with court officials to try to regain control of the toy maker. MGA earlier appealed the court's decision, as well as an order to pump more funds into Smoby.