RayConnect boosting Mich. operation
GRENOBLE, FRANCE - French auto supplier A. Raymond Inc. will invest $14.5 million to expand its RayConnect Inc. subsidiary in Rochester Hills, Mich., adding 37 jobs along with injection molding presses and equipment.
A. Raymond of Grenoble designs, builds and assembles fluid-handling products for the auto, commercial truck and construction equipment markets. RayConnect molds quick-connect parts for fluid, brake and cooling lines.
RayConnect and A. Raymond have been in Rochester Hills for more than 20 years, and jointly employ more than 140. The expansion, backed by a $2.5 million tax credit from the state of Michigan, will retain those jobs, which otherwise might have moved elsewhere, state officials said in a June 17 news release.
Lender buying bathware maker Maax
MONTREAL - Acrylic and fiberglass bathware producer Maax Corp. will be bought by its senior lender, Brookfield Bridge Lending Fund Inc.
Brookfield, with corporate offices in Toronto and New York, will acquire the assets and liabilities of Montreal-based Maax in a deal expected to close within 60 days. The purchase price of US$270 million is the amount Maax owes Brookfield, plus assumption of Maax's other liabilities.
The new owner plans to retain management, pay suppliers and fulfill obligations to customers. Maax will have access to funds to continue business as usual during the sale.
Maax lost C$180 million (US$175.9 million) on sales of C$411 million (US$401.5 million) last year. Earlier this year it was put up for sale, but no satisfactory offers were received. Its debt amounts to about C$570 million (US$556.9 million), of which Brookfield is owed nearly half.
Auto molder Catalina to shut UFE plant
Canton, Mich. - A slowdown in the auto industry is forcing Catalina Precision Products Inc. of Canton to close a newly acquired UFE Inc. injection molding plant in River Falls, Wis. But a second plant rumored to be closing in Stillwater, Minn., will remain open.
News reports earlier this month said the UFE mold-making plant in Stillwater would close along with the River Falls plant. But Catalina spokesman Brian Sherwood said in a June 18 phone interview that the Stillwater information was incorrect.
The River Falls workers are being offered positions at other UFE plants, according to Sherwood.
Meridian exits Ford lighting plant deal
Allen Park, Mich. - Meridian Automotive Systems Inc. and Ford Motor Co. have ended talks for the auto supplier to buy Ford's lighting plant in Sandusky, Ohio.
Meridian, of Allen Park, formed a memorandum of understanding to buy the Sandusky plant run by Dearborn, Mich.-based Ford's Automotive Components Holdings in June 2007. Meridian, which makes rear lights and turn signals, wanted to use the site's headlight production to boost its product offerings and potentially create a complete front-end system for carmakers.
But ``significant changes in the overall business environment,'' including cutbacks in auto manufacturing, prompted the firms to end their talks, Meridian said in a June 19 news release.
``We would reconsider this opportunity should business conditions improve,'' said Meridian President and Chief Executive Officer Richard Newsted.
American Packaging expanding in N.Y.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. - American Packaging Corp. will add 25 jobs and 15,000 square feet to its Rochester headquarters plant, as part of a $9.3 million project to boost tandem extrusion coating and lamination abilities at the site.
Groundbreaking was June 12. The building will be finished by year's end and in use by the second quarter of 2009, Rochester operations manager Dave Geier said in a June 17 e-mail.
The expansion will give APC ``the ability to combine coextrusion, adhesive and extrusion laminations, and extrusion coatings in new ways to achieve customer-specified barrier and structure requirements at lower costs,'' Geier said.
APC makes flexible packaging and seals for markets including agricultural, food, pharmaceuticals and specialty chemicals. The firm employs 550, with about 150 workers in Rochester.