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Kurz-Kasch cuts back with future in doubt

South Boston News
Kurz-Kasch’s Seymour Drive plant, formerly home to Wabash Magnetics. / February 25, 2013
Kurz-Kasch is continuing to whittle down its workforce in South Boston with a March closing date for the local plant looming very much as a possibility.

The Ohio-based manufacturer of electromagnetic components for heavy-duty diesel fuel systems has cut the number of local employees to 36, according to the South Boston human resources office. Some 17 months ago, the Seymour Drive plant employed 63 workers.

Nine employees were let go last week, according to a manager. It was the latest in a series of minor layoffs over the past few months. “We’re just hanging on a little longer,” the manager said.

Kurz-Kasch had filed a notice under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act indicating that the South Boston plant would close on Feb. 2. The pending closure date has been extended to Feb. 28 but could carry over to mid-March.

This week, the South Boston plant is expected to receive a visit from executives with the Miamisburg, Ohio Kurz-Kasch headquarters and with a corporate restructuring firm, Realization Services. Realization Services’ president, Barry Kosoff, is expected to be in town for the discussions.

Kurz-Kasch is owned by Monomoy Capital Partners, a New York-based private equity firm that bought the company in 2007.

Some four years earlier, Kurz-Kasch had purchased Wabash Magnetics, long a part of South Boston’s manufacturing landscape.

The exact nature of the discussions taking place this week in South Boston are not clear, but in the past Monomoy has turned to Kosoff and Realization Services to help guide difficult decisions on the restructuring of operations.

In May 2012, Kosoff was described in the Detroit press as a “liquidator” as he negotiated with union workers employed by Awrey Bakeries, a Michigan bakery with a history going back 102 years. Awrey Bakeries, acquired in bankruptcy by Monomoy Partners and a second Chicago-based private equity firm in 2005, was targeted for shutdown by the investment partners unless workers agreed to wage concessions and downsizing.

The union eventually gave in; later, the bakery was sold off to a Michigan-based company in a similar line of business. The sale of Awrey Bakeries was finalized last week.

Kurz-Kasch bills itself as “a leading manufacturer of highly engineered electromagnetic and engineered composite components” used in a wide range of industrial applications. Monomoy, the private equity parent company with $700 million in assets, states on its website that Kurz-Kasch has annual sales of $40 million.

Also on its website, Monomoy offers a brief history of its involvement with Kurz-Kasch, saying when it bought the company Kurz-Kasch was “a troubled and non-core division of a large public company — which obscured its enviable status as the worldwide leader” in its field.

Monomoy consolidated 10 Kurz-Kasch Ohio facilities into two — the Miamisburg headquarters and the Newcomerstown, Ohio division. Neither the Kurz-Kasch website nor the Monomoy Capital Partners website makes any mention of company operations in South Boston.

In mid-2011, Kurz-Kasch slashed jobs at the Miamisburg location after two of its largest customers dropped the company as a supplier. Kurz-Kasch said the clients — HUSCO International Inc. and Behr America Inc. — accounted for 42 percent of the revenue at the company’s Miamisburg facility, prompting the loss of 56 jobs.

Kurz-Kasch serves the automobile industry, among others, a fact which Monomoy alludes to on its website.

“[Kurz-Kasch] remains profitable despite the collapse of the basic vehicle market and well positioned to out-perform in an economic recovery,” the company website states.

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More of that hope an change coming to South Boston.


Maybe some signs that say "Don't Leave", will work to keep the industry.
The No Uranium signs seemed to have worked wonders. Come on BOS and Town's Council pony up some more money for some more signs!!!!!

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