MGS Manufacturing Group Inc., a Germantown, Wis.-based injection molder, made a big push into the health care market when it acquired a Cheektowaga, N.Y., medical device facility from one of its major customers, Hospira Inc., in 2014.
But both of those companies have since changed ownership and now the 44,335-square-foot facility in a Buffalo suburb is for sale as a turnkey operation that includes 38 molding machines, cranes and clean rooms.
A buyer needs to come forward quickly. Otherwise, plans for a June 27 live auction are going forward, according to Brian Walsh, managing director of the assets management firm Meadoworks.
Hospira was bought by Pfizer Inc. in 2015 and MGS was acquired by the private equity group Mason Wells, which is based in Milwaukee, in June 2016. About five months later, MGS notified the New York State Department of Labor that it would close the Cheektowaga facility in February and lay off all 62 employees for economic reasons.
Some staff remains.
"They're working with the local community to try and get another manufacturer in there," Walsh said.
Hospira had invested more than $28 million into machinery, clean rooms and infrastructure at the site, which is about an hour south of Toronto, according to Meadoworks. Walsh said the plant is a "golden opportunity" for U.S. companies looking to reshore operations or reduce shipping costs, Canadian companies seeking lower taxes and utility costs, or any plastics business that wants a presence in New York.
"Right now a lot of medical work is being done overseas and it's pretty advantageous to bring it back here from a resin standpoint — typically resin costs are a little less here — because it's a point of origin for a lot of materials," Walsh said. "Also, a lot of the jobs run in [lights off manufacturing] so it's not a real labor-intensive facility. It can be very competitive. The other thing is power in that local area is very inexpensive. It's part of a radius by Niagara Falls."
The 2.3-acre property is situated in a hydropower district that draws power from the falls and is sold at a discounted rate, Walsh added.
MGS had been making parts for IV bags at the plant, according to Walsh. MGS did not immediately respond to inquiries about whether the work was discontinued or transferred to another one of its plants.
The Cheektowaga plant has 38 molding machines ranging from 110 tons to 450 tons, including a 330-ton Engel press that was purchased in 2013 with a self-contained clean room and integrated robot.
Other equipment that could be purchased as part of the turnkey sale or auction include five silos, nine vacuum pumps, granulators, conveyors, temperature controllers, cooling water systems, quality control equipment, forklifts and office furniture.
Myron Bowling Auctioneer Inc. is planning the auction with PPL Group LLC, which is a private equity firm that auctions assets for commercial and industrial companies.