Pretium Packaging LLC is closing its Muscatine, Iowa, blow molding facility as part of its consolidation of Pretium and Novapak Corp.
Private equity group Castle Harlan Inc. purchased Pretium, based in Chesterfield, early this year, and backed Pretium's acquisition of Novapak's parent company, PVC Container Corp. of Eatontown, N.J. Restructuring to bring those holdings together led to the decision to shut down Muscatine, Pretium President George Abd said July 1 by telephone.
Pretium was already operating plants in Muscatine and Seymour, Ind., with similar products, Abd said. Novapak brought it a third site in Manchester, Pa.
Muscatine solely supplied the agricultural chemical market with bottles of 1 gallon and larger and business fluctuated according to industry demands, he said. Manchester and Seymour work with more end markets and have more flexibility in bottle sizes.
About 40 of the 65 employees were cut June 30. The remaining workers will help to wind down operations and prepare equipment for transfer to the other two facilities, with the Muscatine site expected to close completely by October, Abd said.
He said the decision was not related to an ongoing investigation by the Iowa Division of Labor Services' Occupational Safety and Health Administration into an incident at that plant last month.
Pretium uses fluorine to treat its bottles, and a hose came loose during a shift, allowing a chemical leak, he said. State officials said they could not discuss the case until they complete their investigation.
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