Automotive parts supplier Magna Composites LLC plans to create 327 jobs and invest a total of $10 million to add equipment and expand the company's customer base at plants in North Carolina over the next four years.
The three plants are in Salisbury, Lenoir and Newton, N.C. Magna added those plants to its holdings in June 2009, when it bought parts of Meridian Automotive Systems Inc.'s composites business. The plants employ 360.
The largest facility, in Salisbury, will grow by 183 employees. The Lenoir plant will add 134 jobs and the factory in Newton will add 10 workers, according to a Magna news release. The overall wage average for the 327 new jobs will be $33,352 plus benefits.
Magna spokesman Scott Worden did not disclose details about the machinery in a June 14 phone interview.
Harry Whalen, executive director of the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission, said Magna will invest about $5.3 million in the Lenoir plant alone.
According to Whalen, the Lenoir plant which produces auto parts will also make plastic bath and shower components and will gain 181 total employees over five to six years through a combination of state and local financial incentives.
We're excited about that. Everyone knows Magna as an automotive supplier, so this expansion [into bathroom enclosures] will add to their capabilities, he said.
Worden clarified that while the three plants are focused on auto products, they do have some capacity for what he termed non-traditional products, including housewares, and the investment is an attempt to broaden Magna's customer base.
The state awarded Magna Composites a Job Development Investment Grant for the expansions. Under terms of the JDIG, the company is eligible to receive a grant equal to 50 percent of the state personal income taxes from the creation of new jobs for each of the six years in which the company meets annual performance targets. According to the release, the JDIG could yield up to $1.1 million for Magna.
We're pleased that North Carolina recognizes the need for business-friendly programs, and it helps us remain in close proximity to our customers in this region, Bob Brownlee, president of Magna Exteriors and Interiors, said in the release.
Also, on June 14, parent Magna International Inc. said risk advisory firm RiskMetrics Group Inc. has advised its shareholders to vote in favor of a proposal that would eliminate Magna's dual-class share structure. Earlier this month, two big Canadian pension funds thrashed the plan, which would pay Magna founder Frank Stronach about $863 million to cede control of the company.
Magna said the RiskMetrics report argues that adoption of a one-share, one-vote structure would help unlock value for shareholders and make directors more accountable.
The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan oppose the proposal on the grounds that it would cost too much to buy out Stronach. A shareholder vote is scheduled for June 28.
Magna Composites is a division of Magna Exteriors and Interiors, a unit of Magna International of Aurora, Ontario.
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