Marel to downsize US manufacturing operations

by Erica Shaffer
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GAINESVILLE , Ga. – Marel announced plans to streamline the company's business by consolidating its US manufacturing business into four multi-industrial sites as part of its Simpler, Smarter, Faster refocusing program.

As part of the plan, the company is moving its Des Moines, Iowa operation to an existing facility in Gainesville, Ga. The transition process began this month, and the company expects to complete the merger before year-end 2015. Costs associated with the transfer will be booked as one-off costs in in the first quarter of 2015 and the benefits will take effect in 2016.

Also, Marel plans to develop a new innovation center in Des Moines. The new center will replace an existing facility. Meanwhile, the company will sell current land and premises.

"These two steps will result in the reduction of approximately 150 employees," the company said in a news release. "Marel will provide support to the employees affected throughout the transition."

Finally, Marel is ceasing production of freezers in Singapore and entering a partnership to continue to provide freezers to the company's customers. The company said closure of manufacturing operations in Singapore is underway and expected to finish by mid-2015.

"The closure of the manufacturing operation in Singapore will increase operational profit during the second half of 2015 and onwards," the company said.

After the changes, Marel's US operation will consist of a multi-industry manufacturing site in Gainesville focusing on the poultry, meat and further processing industries; a manufacturing site in Seattle focusing on on-board solutions for the fish industry; a multi-industry sales and service office in Lenexa, Kan.; and an innovation center in Des Moines. All four US sites will continue to focus on sales and service support. Additionally, Marel will have approximately 600 employees in the US.

The company plans to provide further details on the progress of the Simpler, Smarter, Faster initiative when Marel's 2014 annual results are announced on Feb. 4.
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