Memphis, Tennessee, USA, 17 June 2011 -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Buckeye Technologies Inc. (NYSE:BKI) today announced plans to close its Delta, British Columbia, Canada, airlaid nonwovens facility by the end of calendar 2012. The company will work closely with its customers to continue to meet their needs by sourcing products currently produced at Delta from its facilities in Gaston County, North Carolina, USA, and Steinfurt, Germany.
"This closure has become necessary due to several factors, including unfavorable site location relative to customers and raw material suppliers, a strong Canadian dollar, and low capacity utilization," said John B. Crowe, Buckeye chairman. "It is unfortunate that this closure will result in the eventual termination of employment for approximately 95 dedicated employees. We have owned and operated the Delta facility since 1997 and we value and appreciate the many contributions of the organization over the past 14 years. In the fall of 2010, we consolidated our production from a two machine operation to one airlaid machine in an attempt to improve the profitability of the site. Even after this consolidation, which did improve margins, the plant's forecasted financial performance remains at an unacceptable level," Crowe said.
"We are making this announcement now to allow adequate time to address employee and customer needs. This 18 month period will allow us time to implement changes that may be needed at Gaston and Steinfurt to meet the needs of our current Delta customers. This closure and consolidation of business will improve capacity utilization, profitability, and return on invested capital for our nonwovens business," Crowe said.
The company expects to incur a noncash asset impairment charge of about USD 15 million and USD 5 million in restructuring expenses between now and 31 December 2012. The closure is expected to generate about USD 30 million in cash over the next 18 months, primarily through the sale of land and buildings and a net reduction in working capital. From now until the end of 2012, Buckeye will focus on meeting the needs of its customers and on maximizing cash flow generation at the site.
Buckeye, a leading manufacturer and marketer of specialty fibers and nonwoven materials, is headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. The company currently operates facilities in the United States, Germany, Canada, and Brazil. Its products are sold worldwide to makers of consumer and industrial goods.