Archive for Friday, July 28, 2006

M-Pact sale to eliminate Eudora jobs

July 28, 2006

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M-Pact Worldwide, a Eudora-based maker of medical supplies, is being purchased by a German company that plans to move the bulk of the Eudora operations to other areas and eliminate many of its 67 jobs.

Hamburg-based BSN Medical Inc., with U.S. operations based in Charlotte, N.C., is set to close its private purchase of M-Pact on Monday. Terms have not been disclosed.

The Eudora operation will continue to run relatively unaffected through at least the end of September, said Jim Martin, M-Pact's outgoing president, CEO and co-founder.

"After that, things may begin to change and they obviously will," he said.

The closing of most, if not all, of M-Pact's operations in Eudora will mean another lost customer for Lawrence Paper Co., whose cardboard packaging has been used to ship M-Pact products.

"We don't like any customer closing down," said Justin Hill, company president. "All customers are valued customers. But it's just symptomatic of what's been going on over the past five years: Companies are picking up and going overseas."

M-Pact, with annual sales of about $8.8 million, makes and markets casts and other medical supplies that are used for treating fractures.

Employees are being offered severance packages and outplacement assistance, although as many as 10 workers could remain on site for another six months or longer to handle selected tasks, Martin said. Transfers to other BSN sites also remain a possibility.

Some equipment and jobs could endure even longer, Martin said. M-Pact equipment for making plaster-coated gauze - the stuff paleontologists use to secure bones discovered at excavation sites and contractors rely upon for encasing asbestos in older buildings - could be sold, as long as the equipment would not be used to make health-related products that compete with other BSN operations.

"We have some significant customers in the United States and the world," Martin said.

M-Pact also makes hand-held saws that are used to cut casts - a product BSN does not currently have - but it remains unlikely that the saw work would remain in Eudora for any extended period, Martin said.

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