M&G Resins USA LLC has asked a bankruptcy court for permission to pay bonuses of more than $800,000 to employees needed so it can sell an unfinished PET resin plant in Texas.
Officials with Houston-based M&G said in a Dec. 18 filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., that it wants to pay more than $700,000 to a group of 36 employees and more than $100,000 to two additional employees in order to retain them until a sale of the plant in Corpus Christi, Texas, is completed.
M&G "can ill afford to lose the … employees, who either have the experience and institutional knowledge necessary to continue [M&G's] operations until a sale … can be completed or will otherwise be instrumental to maximizing the value of the Corpus Christi plant in a sale," officials said.
They added that "a failure to retain [the employees] would cause M&G Resins to incur significant costs attempting to obtain replacements."
The 38 employees fill a variety of roles ranging from financial to office personnel to manufacturing. One of the two employees selected for the larger bonus handles several financial areas, while the other works in tax areas.
The larger employee group also includes some financial employees hired from M&G's parent firm. Officials said in the filing that some of those employees did not receive their full wages in the month of October.
M&G filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Oct. 24, a week after its parent firm took the same step in Italy. Cost overruns on the Corpus Christi project, which was set to have annual capacity of more than 2 billion pounds of PET bottle resin, played a large role in the bankruptcy filings.
Officials earlier said that the firm has incurred almost $1 billion in funded debt obligations in the last three years. The Corpus Christi plant was scheduled to open in January 2016, but remains less than 85 percent complete.
Officials added in the filing that M&G, which had ranked as one of North America's largest PET makers, has reduced its U.S. workforce from 260 to 70 in the last year. Those cuts include the closing of a PET bottle resin plant in Apple Grove, W. Va.