Heinz plans to close 2 plants in Europe
European operations are the latest to hit the chopping block at H.J. Heinz Co. as the Pittsburgh food company cuts costs under new ownership.
The iconic ketchup maker said Wednesday that it plans to close two factories and lay off about 350 workers in Belgium and Germany to improve efficiency. The move follows three factory closures in North America that eliminated 1,350 jobs.
Heinz spokesman Michael Mullen said the company plans to close a factory in Turnhout, Belgium, that produces condiments and other products for restaurants and employs 157 people. It will close a plant in Seesen, Germany, where 190 workers make fridge packs of beans and pasta.
Mullen said the closures are “part of a comprehensive and on-going review of our company's European supply chain footprint.”
The company must consult with unions representing workers before shuttering the plants. He declined to say how many people Heinz employs in Europe.
Work from the Belgium and German plants will shift to some of Heinz's 15 other factories in Europe, Mullen said.
“Our proposal to consolidate manufacturing across Heinz Europe, if implemented, would be a critical step in our plan to ensure we are operating as efficiently and effectively as possible to become more competitive in a challenging environment,” he said.
Heinz went private in a $28 billion deal by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital, an investment firm founded by three Brazilian billionaires known for slashing costs and shaking up management at companies they buy.
The company has said it wants to boost growth, especially in emerging markets such as India, China and Brazil. Heinz is saddled with loans from the buyout, which nearly tripled the company's debt to $14 billion, from $5 billion.
Alex Nixon is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7928 or email@example.com.
Add Alex Nixon to your Google+ circles.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Esmark CEO Bouchard: Steel industry ‘weathered through the storm’
- Delphi buys CMU spinoff that makes self-driving car software
- Earnings misses by Allstate, NRG drag market lower for 3rd consecutive day
- Private schools fill void in driver education in Western Pennsylvania
- Operating loss mounts at Highmark’s core hospital system
- Groups appeal Shell air permit for Beaver County project
- Polymer Enterprises finds success in specialty tire market
- FNB buying Harrisburg-based Metro Bancorp
- Obama’s Clean Power plan doesn’t change much; opponents remain firm
- Shell shovels millions into proposed Beaver County plant site
- Coal producer Alpha Natural Resources files for bankruptcy