Spartech Corp. and Washington Penn Plastic Co. have dissolved Plastics Recycling Center LLC, the firms' polypropylene recycling joint venture.
PRC had operated a 72,000-square-foot plant in Summerville, S.C. The site employed 20 in 2001, but a more recent workforce total was unavailable. PRC closed its doors in November, according to a Dec. 15 news release from Clayton, Mo.-based Spartech.
PRC ``was designed to process scrap compounds into pellets for consumption by the operating companies,'' the release said. ``We have alternative supplies at a more effective price and have decided to terminate the venture.''
Officials with Washington Penn of Washington, Pa., could not be reached for comment.
PRC was founded in 2001, when Spartech merged its leased plant in Ladson, S.C., into Washington Penn's Summerville location. The firms had maintained recycling operations there for automotive customers that were required to use recycled-content materials.
Spartech announced the PRC closing on the same day it released full-year results for its 2008 fiscal year, ended Nov. 1. Its sales for fiscal 2008 were down nearly 4 percent to just under $1.4 billion, as it posted a loss of $192 million. The firm had shown a $34 million profit in fiscal 2007.
Spartech also cut 440 jobs in the fiscal year, partly by closing a sheet plant in Mankato, Minn., and a compounding plant in St. Clair, Mich. Those moves saved the firm $15 million in 2008 and will create another $10 million in savings in 2009, officials said.
On Wall Street, Spartech's per-share stock price was near $12 in mid-September, but closed Dec. 18 at $6.38.
Spartech ranked as North America's eighth-largest film and sheet maker in Plastics News' recent ranking, with related sales of almost $1 billion in 2007. The firm also ranks among North America's 30 largest compounders, according to a PN industry estimate.