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Prime Tanning to close Berwick leather finishing facility
Aug '08
Prime Tanning Co Inc announced its intention to cease leather finishing operations at its Berwick, Maine leather finishing facility and transition all of Berwick's production volumes into its Hartland, Maine facility.

Transition of leathers between the two facilities is already underway, and the Company believes it will have the balance of the leathers transitioned by October 2008.

Prime Tanning merged with Cudahy Tanning in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Irving Tanning in Hartland Maine in November 2007, and since that time has been engaged in an intensive domestic reorganization to improve efficiencies and profitability.

As part of this reorganization, the Cudahy facility was closed in May 2008 and its leather volumes successfully transferred into Prime's Hartland finishing facility.

Prime will work with state and local agencies to organize the facility closure, as well as provide ongoing job transition support for the employees involved.

While 150 individuals will be affected by closure of the Berwick finishing operations, employment levels at the Hartland facility will rise as a result of the increased production there.

Prime will continue to use its Berwick offices as its temporary headquarters while it seeks a sale of the facility.

Prime's CEO Robert Moore commented: "This was a very difficult but necessary decision for Prime as we work to streamline our domestic operations and improve profitability.

Like many manufacturing businesses in the U.S, we have been adversely and negatively affected by unprecedented increases in the cost of energy and chemicals and the general economic slowdown.

These unforeseen developments have hastened our need to eliminate excess costs and overhead, and our success as a company depends upon our ability to act decisively to achieve that result.

We continue to believe the very best way to serve our loyal customers is as a stable, profitable, and consistent supplier, and this reorganization will ensure that we continue to meet that objective."

On March 31, 2008, Prime announced its intention to merge with Shanghai Richina Leather Co Ltd ("SRL") to form Prime Leather International, which will form one of the leading suppliers of leather worldwide. This transaction is still expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.

Prime Tanning Co Inc

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