Pexco LLC is closing its Columbia, S.C., plant and selling its extruded sheet-related assets to Plaskolite Inc.
The 168,000-square-foot plant, which has 147 full-time workers, will shut down in 2013.
“This has been a difficult decision but a necessary one for our overall business,” Pexco CEO Neil Shillingford said in a prepared statement. “Pexco's core business is specialty plastics and profile extrusion. Extruded sheet has been a bit of an anomaly for us and after an in-depth review we have decided to sell this line of business and focus on our core capabilities.”
Sheet products include lighting industry and industrial applications. The site also makes extruded profiles for point-of-purchase and lawn and garden markets.
Extruded sheet accounted for well over half of the Columbia plant's volume, according to Pexco.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Pexco will keep and transfer the extruded profile business in Columbia, sending it to four of the company's other nine locations, in Philadelphia, Houston, Chicago, and Monterrey, Mexico.
Sheet production will move to Plaskolite's plants in Columbus and Zanesville, Ohio, and Olive Branch, Miss.
“Our customers will immediately benefit from the addition of Pexco's extruded sheet products to Plaskolite's already extensive product line,” said Mitchell Grindley, Plaskolite's vice president of marketing and sales.
Plaskolite, which is based in Columbus, is a major manufacturer of continuously processed acrylic sheet.
Pexco said it is working with the South Carolina Dislocated Worker Unit to assist the Columbia employees.
“This location was the old Southern Plastics facility, and has been part of Pexco since 1970. We have been blessed to be a part of the community for such a long time and this was not an easy decision,” Shillingford said.
“We are making every effort to work with employees to help them find employment either in other Pexco facilities or within the local labor market.”
Southern Plastics was founded by Columbia contractor Irwin Kahn and a University of South Carolina chemistry professor in 1940. In 1970, American Filtrona Corp. of Richmond, Va., bought Southern Plastics.
Pexco, which is based in Atlanta, is owned by private equity firm Odyssey Investment Partners LLC.
Pexco itself has been very active on the acquisition front. During 2011, Pexco bought four firms: Patrician Products Inc., Multitube Medical Devices SA de CV, AllWest Plastics Inc. and RDC Cytex Inc. All four of the firms were custom extruders, with AllWest and RDC Cytex specializing in profiles.