HARTSVILLE, S.C. (Oct. 4, 2:50 p.m. ET) — Sonoco Products Co. will close its Cambridge, Ontario, Sonoco Plastics plant.
The closing was prompted by changes in markets and will be complete by summer 2012, spokesman Robin Montgomery confirmed in an Oct. 4 email and telephone call. The facility produces thermoformed plastic food trays.
The shutdown affects 100 workers.
“We do encourage the employees to apply for positions within Sonoco that are available; however, we cannot make guarantees that they will get those jobs. At the same time, we will be offering outplacement services to assist employees in their job search,” Montgomery said.
Hartsville, S.C.-based Sunoco acquired the Ontario plant in June 2010 from Associated Packaging Technologies Inc., the Chadds Ford, Pa.-based thermoformer it acquired from New York private equity firm Castle Harlan Inc. for $120 million.
“Following our customers, and the relocations of assets that they made, we saw production levels [in Cambridge] decrease as we moved capacity into other regions,” Montgomery said. “At a point, it became a facility that was no longer competitive in the marketplace.”
The assets of the plant will be distributed to other Sonoco Plastics facilities, he said. The company has two other plastics plants in Canada, both blow molding facilities in Mississauga, Ontario.
In another Sonoco-related move, Jim Bowen, senior vice president of the company's North American primary materials group, has retired after a 40-year career. John Grups has been named division vice president and general manager, according to a Sept. 30 news release.
Sonoco is a $4.1 billion global manufacturer of industrial and consumer products and packaging, with about 300 operations in 34 countries.
For the second quarter of 2011, Sonoco reported profit of $53.4 million on sales of $1.1 billion, compared to profit of $59 million on sales of $1 billion for the year-ago period.
In Securities and Exchange Commission filings, management blamed flat quarterly results on a negative price-to-cost relationship, an unfavorable shift in the mix of business and increased labor costs, as well as costs associated with the disposition of a plastics business in Brazil.