Auburn Hills, Mich. — Unique Fabricating Inc. will close its manufacturing facility in Murfreesboro, Tenn., as part of an initiative to streamline the firm's efficiency.
The company said this decision will affect about 30 employees and that it will provide them with severance and transition assistance.
Unique said in an Oct. 27 news release that the move will put it in a better position to attract and retain the necessary work force to scale its long-term production capabilities. The facility is expected to close in January with production to be transferred to its other existing manufacturing facilities — highlighting its Evansville, Ind., and LaFayette, Ga., sites in the release.
CEO John Weinhardt said the decision to close the facility was driven by the competitive labor market in the region, which made it challenging to attract the work force necessary to adequately scale its operations.
“The consolidation of this facility into existing plants streamlines our operations and places us in a better position to meet current and future labor needs at a more competitive price,” Weinhardt said in a statement. “I am confident this rationalization of our production facilities will make us a stronger organization overall and is the best long-term solution for Unique Fabricating and our shareholders. We will work closely with our customers to ensure continuity in the supply of their products as we make this shift.”
Unique expects to incur charges of about $200,000 to $300,000 related to severance costs and is still finalizing the estimated costs for equipment relocation, other closing considerations and potential costs savings. It expects to market the facility after closing, saying that it has an estimated net book value of about $2 million.
The firm plans update its investors on its third quarter earnings conference call.
“We appreciate the contributions of our Murfreesboro team members and would like to thank each of them for their commitment, service and ongoing support during this time of transition,” Weinhardt said.
Unique Fabricating purchased the facility as part of its $16 million acquisition of fellow die-cutter PrescoTech Industries Inc., which allowed Unique to enter the home and commercial heating industries. In addition to Murfreesboro, PrescoTech operated facilities in Louisville, Ky.; Fort Smith, Ark.; and Evansville — all of which are still under Unique's portfolio.
Unique employs 700 and operates five other manufacturing facilities — in Monterrey and Queretaro, Mexico; and its headquarters in Auburn Hills. It recently acquired Great Lakes Foam Technologies Inc.'s molded polyurethane products operation in Concord, Mich. In 2014 Unique acquired Chardan Corp.'s vacuum thermoforming and fusion molding facility in Bryan, Ohio.