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Bemis Plans to Shut Down its Shelbyville, Tenn. Facility This Summer

Shelbyville, Tennessee, USA 11 January 2018 -- (From news reports) -- Bemis Company of Neenah, Wisconsin is closing its Shelbyville facility -- Bemis Custom Products.

The company expects to cease operations in Shelbyville in August of this year, according to a Bemis Company spokesperson.

The company employed 120 in Shelbyville as of early last year, according to the Shelbyville/Bedford County Chamber of Commerce. The Bemis spokesperson said in an email that that number is currently down to 77 and all "affected employees will receive outplacement services."

The company has not yet notified the State of Tennessee about the Shelbyville closure. Companies with 100 or more employees are required, under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act to provide a 60-day notice of plant closings and mass layoffs. Tennessee law, however, differs somewhat. The Tennessee Plant Closing and Reduction in Operations Act, requires employers to report closing when it involves 50 to 99 employees.

Bemis acquired its facility in Shelbyville in 1997.

In June last year, the company announced that it would be closing two of its facilities but at the time did not say which ones. The company said then it planned to effect $55 million to $60 million in annual cost savings. The closing of the two plants was expected to cut $10 million in costs and the company expected to save an additional $20 million in annual costs by cutting "global administrative staff," according to a report.

According to an industry trade publication, the company had, earlier in 2017, eliminated 200 jobs.

The company has informed the State of Illinois that it is closing its plant in Bellwood, Illinois, where 52 workers will lose their jobs.

In September 2017 the company announced, as part of a "restructuring and cost savings plan" that it would close two more plants in 2018, bringing the total to four with a resulting savings of $17 million.

In December, it was reported widely that Bemis had entered into an agreement with Goldman Sachs to investigate the possibility of selling the company.

According to a Dec. 4, 2017 report in the New York Post, Bemis' profits as of September 30, 2017 fell 23.3 percent from the previous year. The Post reported that Bemis told its shareholders last summer that it would need to sell itself within 12 months if it could not effect a turnaround.

There are reports that two companies are interested in Bemis: DS Smith, a British company that is reportedly working with Citigroup; and Amcor Ltd., a Zurich, Switzerland based company, is reportedly working with UBS, an investment bank.


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