Can maker Crown Holdings notified the state of Illinois it plans to close a plant in Warrensburg. Crown is also expected to close a manufacturing facility in Batesville, Mississippi, local news publication The Panolian reported on Jan. 9.
Crown declined to comment on the reported closures.
Crown will lay off 40 workers at the Warrensburg site as part of the plant closure starting March 8, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification notice received by the state on Jan. 19.
In Mississippi, The Panolian reported Crown is expected to cease production on March 29 at a Batesville facility that opened in 1987, impacting about 150 full-time employees.
Panola Partnership CEO Joe Azar told The Panolian that there were rumors of a possible closure six months ago. Azar said the company invested $15 million in new equipment three years ago, and he believes this business decision to close in Batesville was driven by expected growth in the canned water market not materializing. He said employees are “being treated well with severance and insurance.”
A Monday memo to investors from Truist Securities addressing the Mississippi news report noted that the plant has three lines with capacity of at least 1.5 billion units, accounting for between 1% and 1.5% of total North American capacity.
“Overall, we view this capacity closure as positive for industry supply / demand dynamics,” wrote senior paper and packaging analyst Michael Roxland, expecting that Crown will “continue to grow volume and share in North America.”
Truist also noted new Crown facilities that have recently come online in Martinsville, Virginia, announced in 2021, and Bowling Green, Kentucky, announced in 2020, with lower costs and greater capacity. Crown reported in April that during the first quarter of 2023 a second line at the Martinsville location had begun commercial shipments. In October, the company reported that commercial shipments from line one at the new Mesquite plant had begun that month, anticipating a second line would start up by the end of 2023.
Crown is scheduled to next report earnings on Feb. 5. During its most recent earnings call, it lowered full-year adjusted earnings per share guidance, in part citing “continued weakness” in aerosols in North America and Asia.