In a follow-up to May filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Solo Cup Co. has released more information about which plants it plans to close over the next two years.
Solo will shutter plants in Owings Mills, Md.; North Andover, Mass.; and Springfield, Mo., according to a June 8 news release. The North Andover and Springfield facilities are scheduled to close in mid-to-late 2011; the Owings Mills site in mid-2012.
The Massachusetts plant thermoforms plastic cups and lids and injection molds cutlery, spokeswoman Leslie Beyer said by telephone June 8. The Missouri plant makes Trophy polystyrene foam cups for hot and cold drinks, and paper soufflé cups. The Maryland plant manufactures paper containers and buckets.
The closings will eliminate about 540 jobs in Owings Mills, 360 in North Andover and 340 in Springfield, said officials of the Lake Forest, Ill.-based company
These [closings] are never easy because we know they affect the lives of our employees and their families.
It was important to us to give them as much advance notice as possible and we will work to make it a smooth transition for them, President and CEO Robert Korzenski said in the release.
All affected workers will have the opportunity to pursue employment at other Solo facilities and will be given priority over other candidates, the company said. Production volume and some manufacturing assets will be distributed across Solo's other facilities, while other less-efficient assets will be retired. Solo will invest in its remaining locations and expects to increase employment at these facilities over the next 12-24 months as volume increases, the release said.
We have invested approximately $150 million over the past two years to upgrade our manufacturing assets and increase the efficiency of our operations. As a result, we are now able to be more productive within a smaller manufacturing footprint, said George Chappelle, Solo's chief operating officer.
The firm's market has contracted as a result of the economic downturn, he said.
In 2009, Solo closed plants in Belen, N.M., and Highland Park, Ill.
According to recent SEC filings, Solo posted a loss of $16.5 million on sales of $344.9 million for the first quarter of 2010, compared with a loss of $10.2 million on $349.6 million in sales for the year-ago period.
Solo's North American manufacturing holdings including the three plants that will close cover 11 manufacturing sites in the U.S., as well as plants in Toronto and Cuautitlan, Mexico.
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