MWV to Reconfigure its Home & Garden Manufacturing Operation at Hemer, Germany

(PresseBox) ( Richmond, VA., )
MeadWestvaco Corporation (NYSE: MWV) today announced that it will reconfigure its Home & Garden primary plastics operation in Hemer, Germany, as part of the company's accelerated strategic cost management program announced January 2009. The reconfiguration will improve the plant's efficiency, optimize its mix of value-added products and solutions, and provide a more profitable platform for the Home & Garden business.

The company will transfer some of its production lines to MWV's Wuxi, China, facility, which will supply select Home & Garden products to Europe. The Hemer Home & Garden operation will concentrate on producing and growing its high-value, differentiated trigger sprayer solutions business in Europe. The full transition is expected to be completed by January 2010.

"We are improving MWV's immediate performance and long-term strength in the Home & Garden business by making clear determinations about which product lines have growth potential and those that are less attractive in the future," said Jim Buzzard, MWV president. "Our objective is to ensure we lead in the markets we serve with a profitable mix of value-added solutions and services that consumers want and need. We will continue to deliver to our customers the innovative dispensing solutions they have come to expect."

As a result of these changes, 80 hourly and salaried positions will be eliminated. Affected employees are eligible for severance benefits in accordance with employment terms and local laws. The company has engaged a transfer agency to assist affected employees with finding alternative work arrangements.

MWV serves the Home & Garden, Personal Care and Healthcare markets from its Hemer location, which includes two production plants. The Home & Garden operation produces trigger sprayers for use with household cleaners and gardening applications. The Personal Care and Healthcare operation develops and produces pumps and dispensers for their respective markets, and the product lines to support these businesses are not impacted by the Home & Garden reconfiguration. The location currently employs 495 hourly and salaried professionals and has been in operation in the area since 1972.
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