Xten expects to close, lay off 120 employees

Kenosha-based multifacturing company Xten Industries LLC will cease operation of its Kenosha facility and lay off 120 employees, according to a WARN notice filed last week with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

The company intends to sell the business to satisfy its creditors. The closing of the business, located at 9600 55th St., is contingent on whether the company is sold.

An auction is expected to occur within the next 60 to 90 days. The potential purchaser, which may be Commercial Plastics of Mundelein, Ill., may choose to hire some or all of the employees, but that will not be known until the conclusion of the auction process.

If employees are not hired by a potential purchaser, the first permanent loss of employment is expected to occur on Dec. 21, with additional layoffs occurring during the 14-day period ending on Jan. 3. The employees do not have collective bargaining representatives.

Commercial Plastics’ agreement includes an offer of employment to all Xten employees at rates of compensation and benefits similar to those in existence between Xten employees and Xten, and employees would be offered the opportunity to participate in Commercial Plastics’ health insurance plan.

The sale process will take approximately 60 to 90 days to complete and close with a new owner. Xten intends to remain open throughout the process, according to its filing.

Xten acquired the assets of plastic molder Paramount Plastics LLC in Lockport, Ill., in May 2012, at which time Paramount was valued at $18 million. Xten kept the Lockport location.

In recent years, the company has been quickly growing in Kenosha. From June 2012 to June 2013, it grew by about 150 percent, reporting $50 million in revenue in 2013. Last year, Xten added a fourth shift to move to 24/7 production and partnered with Kenosha-based Gateway Technical College to offer a scholarship and internal training program.

The 73-year-old company was named to the Inc. 5000 list last month. Xten received the Employee Engagement & Commitment Award from Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce in February. It was the Kenosha Area Business Alliance’s 2011 Kenosha County Business of the Year.

Xten representatives were not available for comment regarding the closure and layoffs.

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