Manuli Stretch Group SpA is looking for a buyer or joint venture partner for its Shelbyville, Tenn., stretch film plant.
Manuli previously announced it had stopped production at the site in early December in favor of importing films from offshore affiliates. About 25 workers lost their jobs.
The 50,000-square-foot production plant houses two seven-layer, cast stretch film lines with total annual capacity of about 25 million pounds per year. The 100-inch-wide extrusion lines comprise Black Clawson machinery.
During the next few months Manuli will decide whether to relocate machinery to other Manuli plants vs. selling the Shelbyville assets or forming a joint venture involving the assets, according to Dan Maiorino, general manager of Manuli Stretch USA Inc. The plant was judged too small to pursue the range of markets staked out by parent firm Manuli Stretch Group of Milan, Maiorino said.
“This is not a fire sale or liquidation,” he said by telephone. “This doesn't change our marketing and sales strategy,” he added.
The U.S. subsidiary is importing film from other Manuli operations, including from Leipzig, Germany — the group's largest operation — to supply U.S. customers. A Curitiba, Brazil, facility in started up in 2011 and there are plans to expand it. Globally, Manuli has about 500 million pounds of annual film capacity.
The U.S. arm manages a warehouse in Los Angeles and is looking to set up warehouses in the Northeast and in Canada. Manuli products available to U.S. customers will include cast polyethylene silage films, stretch holder films and cast polypropylene films.
321 Capital Partners LLC of Elkridge, Md., is assisting Manuli in evaluating options. 321 Capital managing partner Ervin Terwilliger said in an email that his firm is providing general asset information without signing a confidentiality agreement.
321 Capital is an international investment banking firm specializing in middle market businesses in manufacturing and distribution.
Other Manuli group film operations are in Corsham, England, and Buenos Aires, Argentina.