Bankrupt auto supplier Plastech Engineered Products Inc. will close an exterior trim plant in Elwood, Ind., in July and an interior trim plant in Kenton, Tenn., sometime after June 30 as part of its ongoing restructuring.
The Dearborn-based injection molder informed Indiana officials May 17 about the Elwood closure. They said the plant, which employs 286, will close within 14 days of July 13.
Plastech entered Chapter 11 with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Detroit Feb. 1. Its biggest customer, Johnson Controls Inc., wants to buy Plastech's interiors operations, but the future is not as certain for plants like the one in Elwood that make exterior plants. The company told officials in Elwood that work likely will be sent to other molders, but the firm also is seeking a sale of its exterior operations.
Plastech officials met with Obion County development officials in Tennessee in late April to inform them about plans to close the Kenton plant. That factory employs about 200. Plant manager James Arnold told the Union City (Tenn.) Daily Messenger newspaper that the exact date of the shutdown is flexible, and will depend on how long it takes Plastech to get approval from its customers to move work to other plants.
Plastech already named two other sites in Shreveport, La., and Leamington, Ontario that are also slated to close as part of its restructuring.
Meanwhile, the company plans to hold a June 16 auction for its business units and other assets.
Plastech has been soliciting offers from potential buyers of its exteriors, stamping, carpet, interiors and under-the-hood business units, as well as miscellaneous assets, according to bankruptcy court documents filed May 16. The firm said in the documents that it is ``very close'' to obtaining offers for at least some of the units but has not accepted any offers.
Plastech says the auction is intended to act as a ``market check,'' or to determine the value of the business units and assets if they were to be sold. The company said it would compare that value to the potential value of the business units and assets in a stand-alone reorganization and choose the best option.
Each of the business units would have individual auctions prior to a final auction for all company assets, according to bankruptcy court documents.
Ryan Beene, a staff reporter for Crain's Detroit Business, contributed to this story.