Newell Rubbermaid cutting Tenn. jobs
SANDY SPRINGS, GA. - Newell Rubbermaid Inc. is eliminating 200 jobs at its Maryville, Tenn., office products plant.
The firm will move production of such products as file folders, waste baskets and business card holders to plants in Greenville, Texas, and Mogadore, Ohio. About 400 manufacturing and distribution workers will continue at Maryville, making chair mats and writing instrument components.
Newell Rubbermaid said the move will reduce costs and improve efficiency in its manufacturing network. Workers will be laid off about Sept. 1, said spokeswoman Connie Bryant. Some equipment will be relocated to Texas and Ohio, but details weren't available.
The Sandy Springs-based company said it has begun offering transition assistance to affected employees, who were told their fate April 10.
Maax seeking buyer to reduce its debt
MONTREAL - Acrylic and fiberglass bathware producer Maax Corp. is up for sale.
Owners of the Montreal firm will pursue a sales process to market the business to reduce its debt and improve its capital structure. Maax has hired Alvarez & Marsal Securities LLC of New York to help it achieve a sale.
Maax was a public company until it was bought in 2004 by Boston private equity firm J.W. Childs Associates, Borealis Private Equity LP of Toronto, Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System of Toronto and a management group.
Maax also announced April 1 that it reached an agreement with its major financial lenders to increase its Canadian revolving financial commitments to C$55 million (US$56.1 million), up from C$25 million (US$25.5 million).
``Our goal is to reduce the company's debt and remain a successful North American competitor in a rapidly changing marketplace,'' President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Golden said in a news release.
Firefighter killed at Port Erie Plastics
HARBORCREEK, PA. - A firefighter died April 8 after he was struck by a piece of equipment that fell from an aerial ladder truck at the scene of a pallet fire at Port Erie Plastics Inc.
Michael Crotty, 24, deputy fire chief of the Lawrence Park Fire Department, was on the ground when something malfunctioned with the ladder, according to the Erie, Pa., Times-News.
Local fire officials could not be reached for comment.
Firefighters were called to the Harborcreek site, where pallets stacked outside the factory were burning, at about 4 p.m. April 8. The blaze in the plastic and wood pallets was contained quickly, Port Erie President John Johnson said by phone.
Johnson called the blaze ``a typical pallet fire'' that did not damage the factory. Port Erie Plastics shut down for the second and third shift while investigators checked the area. The custom injection molder resumed full production the next day.
Johnson said Crotty's death saddened Port Erie employees.
``It was a minor inconvenience that changed into a major situation because of the death of the fireman,'' he said.
Kureha building plant on DuPont site
BELLE, W.VA. - Kureha PGA LLC has launched construction of a polyglycolic acid polymer plant in Belle.
Commercial production at the plant, which will employ 50, is set to begin in early 2010. The plant is being built on a DuPont Co. specialty chemical site, which will provide feedstocks for Kureha's Kuredux-brand PGA. Cost of the new facility is estimated at more than $100 million, and it is expected to generate annual sales of more than $100 million annually.
The material, a high-strength polyester, is intended for initial use as a barrier resin for multilayer PET bottles. Use of PGA - which Kureha officials said has gas-barrier properties 100 times higher than those of PET - will allow bottlers of soft drinks and beer to reduce their PET use by 20 percent.
Kureha PGA is a unit of Kureha Corp. of Tokyo. During an April 7 teleconference, Kureha President and Chief Executive Officer Takao Iwasaki said the firm is working with major beverage companies on agreements to supply the product.
Kureha opened a 220 million-pound-capacity plant to make PGA in Japan in 2002. The firm also is a partner with Ticona in Fortron Industries, a polyphenylene sulfide joint venture.