Exide to cease BR operations; lay off 132 workers - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Exide to cease BR operations; lay off 132 workers

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By:  Robb Hays, WAFB.COM

BATON ROUGE, LA  (WAFB) - Exide Technologies, a company that recycles batteries, says it will temporarily shut down its operations in Baton Rouge, laying off 132 workers.

Exide said it anticipates resuming operations in Baton Rouge "when market conditions allow".

Exide began operations at its facility on Brooklawn Drive in Baton Rouge 53 years ago.

The company says it will begin an "orderly ramp-down of operations" on April 1st.  That process is expected to take about 90 days.

Exide recycles the components of spent lead-acid batteries, reclaiming the recycled lead and plastic for the manufacture of new batteries.


Alpharetta, Ga., - March 23, 2009 - Exide Technologies, a global leader in stored electrical-energy solutions, today announced that it will temporarily cease operations at its recycling facility in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  The facility recycles the components of spent lead-acid batteries, reclaiming the recycled lead and plastic for the manufacture of new batteries.  

Approximately 132 hourly and salaried Exide employees will be affected as a result of the temporary cessation of operations.    

The orderly ramp-down of operations is scheduled to begin April 1, 2009, when the facility will stop accepting materials for recycling.  The process is expected to be completed in approximately 90 days. While Exide is not projecting a date to return to production, the Company currently anticipates resuming recycling operations at its Baton Rouge facility when market conditions allow.

"Exide made the difficult decision to temporarily cease operations at our Baton Rouge facility as a result of the slowdown in the economy and the related impact on the lead-acid battery markets and by extension, overall lead demand," said Joe Acker, Vice President and General Manager, Recycling - North America for Exide Technologies.  "While our plan is to resume production at Baton Rouge when economic conditions improve, we do anticipate this temporary cessation of recycling operations to rebalance the supply of recycled materials with manufacturing demand."

In fiscal year 2008, Exide Technologies recycled sufficient lead tonnage to make the Company one of the largest secondary lead recyclers in the world.  It is one of the few companies with the ability to manufacture and recycle lead-acid batteries in its own facilities.

 "Recycling is a crucial component of the Exide process of total life cycle management of lead-acid batteries, and since 1956, our Baton Rouge operation has been a significant contributor to this infrastructure," said Bruce Cole, President of the Transportation Americas business division for Exide Technologies. "We regret the impact that this temporary cessation of operations will have on our employees in Baton Rouge, especially in today's economic climate, and look forward to an improvement in the marketplace that will allow us to resume production and put our people back to work."

Exide Technologies operates five other recycling facilities in the U.S. at the following locations:  Canon Hollow, Missouri; Frisco, Texas; Muncie, Indiana; Reading, Pennsylvania; and Vernon, California. 


About Exide Technologies

Exide Technologies, with operations in more than 80 countries, is one of the world's largest producers and recyclers of lead-acid batteries. The Company's four global business groups -- Transportation Americas, Transportation Europe and Rest of World, Industrial Energy Americas and Industrial Energy Europe and Rest of World -- provide a comprehensive range of stored electrical energy products and services for industrial and transportation applications.

Transportation markets include original-equipment and aftermarket automotive, heavy-duty truck, agricultural and marine applications, and new technologies for hybrid vehicles and automotive applications. Industrial markets include network power applications such as telecommunications systems, electric utilities, railroads, photovoltaic (solar-power related) and uninterruptible power supply (UPS), and motive-power applications including lift trucks, mining and other commercial vehicles.

Further information about Exide, including its financial results, are available at www.exide.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

Except for historical information, this press release may be deemed to contain "forward-looking" statements. The Company desires to avail itself of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the "Act") and is including this cautionary statement for the express purpose of availing itself of the protection afforded by the Act. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement in this or any prior forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.

Examples of forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, (a) projections of revenues, cost of raw materials, income or loss, earnings or loss per share, capital expenditures, growth prospects, dividends, the effect of currency translations, capital structure and other financial items, (b) statements of plans and objectives of the Company or its management or Board of Directors, including the introduction of new products, or estimates or predictions of actions by customers, suppliers, competitors or regulating authorities, (c) statements of future economic performance and (d) statements of assumptions, such as the prevailing weather conditions in the Company's market areas, underlying other statements and statements about the Company or its business.

Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the following general factors such as: (i) the Company's ability to implement and fund based on current liquidity business strategies and restructuring plans, (ii) unseasonable weather (warm winters and cool summers) which adversely affects demand for automotive and some industrial batteries, (iii) the Company's substantial debt and debt service requirements which may restrict the Company's operational and financial flexibility, as well as imposing significant interest and financing costs, (iv) the litigation proceedings to which the Company is subject, the results of which could have a material adverse effect on the Company and its business, (v) the realization of the tax benefits of the Company's net operating loss carry forwards, which is dependent upon future taxable income, (vi) the fact that lead, a major constituent in most of the Company's products, experiences significant fluctuations in market price and is a hazardous material that may give rise to costly environmental and safety claims, (vii) competitiveness of the battery markets in North America and Europe, (viii) risks involved in foreign operations such as disruption of markets, changes in import and export laws, currency restrictions, currency exchange rate fluctuations and possible terrorist attacks against U.S. interests, (ix) general economic conditions, (x) the ability to acquire goods and services and/or fulfill labor needs at budgeted costs, (xi) the Company's reliance on a single supplier for its polyethylene battery separators, (xii) the Company's ability to successfully pass along increased material costs to its customers, (xiii) the loss of one or more of the Company's major customers for its industrial and transportation products; (xiv) recently adopted U.S. lead emissions standards and the implementation of such standards by applicable states; and (xv) the ability of the Company's customers to pay for products and services in light of liquidity constraints resulting from global economic conditions and restrictive credit markets.

Therefore, the Company cautions each reader of this press release carefully to consider those factors set forth above and those factors described in the Company's annual report on Form 10-K filed on June 9, 2008 and its quarterly reports on Form 10-Q filed on August 8, 2008, November 6, 2008 and February 4, 2009, because such factors have, in some instances, affected and in the future could affect, the ability of the Company to achieve its projected results and may cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed herein.


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