Graham Packaging Holdings Co. will close PET custom container blow molding plants in Lakeland, Fla., and Montgomery, Ala., as customer volume has shifted to other locations.
About 20 jobs will be affected, the company said in a Sept. 17 news release.
One of the firm's two plants in Lakeland is to close Oct. 9 and some of its 15 employees will be transferred to the other site. The remaining workers will be eligible for severance packages and will be able to seek employment at other company plants, Graham said.
The firm has had a presence in Lakeland since at least 1999, when it agreed to invest in PlasPET Florida Ltd., a developer and blow molder of PET custom single-serve containers.
The Montgomery facility which Graham opened in 2000 at a cost of about $20 million to serve Southeast markets is scheduled to close Nov. 1. About a dozen employees in Montgomery were laid off at the end of August. Of the remaining nine workers, four will be transferred to other plants and the rest will be offered severance packages, the company said.
York, Pa.-based Graham employs 6,300 in North America out of a total workforce of 8,700. It produces more than 20 billion container units annually at 83 plants in the Americas and Europe. The company generated 2007 sales of $2.49 billion.
Graham, which primarily is owned by Blackstone Group of New York, said July 1 it will combine with Hicks Acquisition Co. Inc., a Dallas special-purpose acquisition company. The $3.2 billion deal will result in a publicly traded firm to be named Graham Packaging Co. Inc., and is expected to close in the fourth quarter.