Rehau North America has sold its PVC pipe plant in Prescott, Ontario, to a concrete pipe company.
Brunet Concrete Group of Valleyfield, Quebec, bought the facility for an undisclosed amount Dec. 31.
Rehau had closed the plant briefly in 2008 but soon reopened it to supply Brunet. The facility has been operating below capacity since then, employing 26, compared with a staff of 46 before the short-lived closure. The plant will be Brunet's first PVC pipe operation.
The former Rehau site has been producing PVC pipe for Brunet for nearly two years. As well, about 10 percent of its production has been sold to Rehau, according to a published news report. The plant will continue producing small-diameter PVC pipe for Rehau's Proloc specialty industrial products line, according to Rehau North America CEO Kathleen Saylor.
The sale was the logical next step, Saylor said in a telephone interview from Rehaus' Leesburg, Va., head office. Rehau wants to focus on products that emphasize energy efficiency and sustainability. Initially Rehau was not interested in selling the Prescott plant, but last fall decided to enter sale negotiations with Brunet.
[Brunet intends] to grow the business, Saylor said.
Brunet could bring the site back up to full capacity within four years, a report indicated. Brunet officials were not available to elaborate on the company's plans.
We announced the shutdown in 2008 as part of our re-engineering move, Saylor recalled. Shortly afterward Brunet contacted us about reopening it. They asked if we were interested in producing pipe just for them. That allowed us to reopen the doors again.
The plant has been in operation for 40 years. At the time of the temporary closure, it had been making about 7 percent of Rehau North America's output. Rehau also runs two pipe plants in Cullman, Ala.