Fortis Plastics LLC appears poised to shut down before the end of the year, announcing plans to close its corporate office and molding plant in South Bend, Ind.
The news comes just days after the company announced plans to close its Poplar Bluff, Mo., and Fort Smith, Ark., plants.
In layoff notifications filed with the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, the custom injection molder said it will permanently close its corporate office between Nov. 28 and Dec. 11, affecting 17 employees. The molding plant will permanently close between Dec. 9 and Dec. 23, impacting 71 employees.
The company blamed an “inability to secure additional capital,” although recent developments have made clear lost work from some customers may also have played a role.
“Fortis continues to pursue every realistic opportunity to secure the capital necessary to keep the South Bend facility in operation, but Fortis' management can make no guarantees as to the success of those efforts,” the company wrote in one layoff notice. The letters were dated Oct. 28, and the state of Indiana's dislocated worker team received them Nov. 2.
The company's financial woes came to light in mid-October, when it filed a notice with the city of Fort Smith warning that it would terminate 93 employees there starting Nov. 4-18 “because of an inability to secure additional capital.”
A week later, the company notified the 142 workers in Poplar Bluff that their plant would close by Dec. 2.
Fortis Plastics customers include appliance major Whirlpool Corp. On Oct. 28, Whirlpool announced it will close its refrigerator plant in Fort Smith by mid-2012 and reduce its worldwide capacity by about 6 million units.
Officials of Fortis Plastics did not return Plastics News' calls for comment.
Fortis Plastics formed in late 2008 when Monomoy Capital Partners LP of New York acquired and combined the custom molding divisions of Leggett & Platt Inc. and Atlantis Plastics Inc.
Since that time, the company has closed six plants: Elkhart, Ind.; LaVergne, Tenn.; Alamo and Brownsville, Texas; Booneville, Miss.; and Henderson, Ky.