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 user 2005-04-08 at 11:32:00 am Views: 136
  • #8705
    Nashua Corp. to exit toner business; lay off 71

    Apr.  2005

    NASHUA – Blaming
    high operating costs and two pending lawsuits, Nashua Corp. is getting out of
    the toner and developer business and will lay off 71 workers in that sector by
    next year, the company announced Tuesday.

    The company is actively seeking
    buyers for its toner and developer assets, as well as for the building in
    Merrimack that houses the operation.

    The high cost of operating two
    plants – one in Nashua and another in Merrimack – is one factor that led to the
    decision, said Andrew Albert, chairman, president and chief operating officer of
    Nashua Corp. Energy costs for both operations are close to $2 million a year on
    a $20 million sales base, he said.

    Another factor is legal costs related
    to two pending lawsuits against the company, Albert said. One is a patent
    infringement and unfair competition suit brought by Oce Printing Systems GmbH
    and Oce North America Inc. That suit, filed in March, is related to its ST-2140
    and ST-466 toner products.

    Nashua Corp. is also being sued by Ricoh Co.,
    a Japan-based office-supply maker that is alleging multiple counts of patent
    infringement, trademark infringement and unfair competition. The suit, filed in
    May 2003, arose from Nashua Corp.’s sale and distribution of Ricoh compatible
    toner products. No trial date has been set.

    “The two lawsuits combined
    were the straw that broke the camel’s back,” Albert said.

    The layoffs –
    which will affect about 30 percent of its total workforce and affect employees
    in Merrimack and Nashua – will be gradual and will end by March 31, 2006, Albert

    “We’re going to be notifying people during this week in meetings
    with them,” he said. “There will be a handful or less impacted this

    Company officials will communicate with the full staff this week,
    Albert said, noting severance packages are in place for workers.

    certainly will try our best through redeployment, through severance packages,
    through outplacement and through honoring any agreements we have to help people
    transition to alternative employment,” he said.

    Albert said the company
    would try to help the employees find jobs in the toner industry. Many of the
    people who work in Nashua Corp.’s toner and development sector have been with
    the company for many years, he said.

    “We have a fine staff of people.
    People would be very fortunate to employ them,” he said.

    “When you have a
    fine group of people, it makes it a difficult decision