Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Sauder had no interest whatsoever in keeping Lamar O'Sullivan plant open

"Hundreds of jobs are coming to Archbold."
That's good news the Defiance Crescent-News brought for the Ohio community where Sauder Woodworking, Inc., is expanding its workforce. It's bad news for Lamar, Missouri, since those jobs will come at the expense of what was once the Lamar area's biggest employer O'Sullivan Industries.
While the O'Sullivan plant in Lamar is going out of business, the name O'Sullivan will continue under the Sauder banner:

"We did not buy the company outright," (company owner Kevin) Sauder said, "but after studying O'Sullivan's business, we acquired selected portions we felt added value to Sauder's operations and customer relationship."

The purchase agreement includes all of O'Sullivan's intellectual property, the O'Sullivan name, the Coleman garage license, and select drawings, patents and raw materials.

Sauder explained that O'Sullivan Industries had been in financial trouble for the past year, moving in and out of bankruptcy. Sauder said that the Atlanta-based company, which had sales of $200 million in 2006, "most recently had been operated by a crisis management firm, but was still struggling." It eventually closed and its employees were sent home.

Curious about the company, Sauder had visited O'Sullivan over a month ago. "I was not interested in the plant or the equipment," he said, noting that he already had the necessary space and manufacturing equipment here in Archbold. "I was interested in the customer base," which includes companies such as Lowe's, Staples, Big Lots and Wal-Mart.

With the bank handling the sale of the business, Sauder said his company was able to purchase the pieces which it was interested in, rather than the whole business.

Excited about keeping his new customer base happy (and unaffected by the transition), Sauder said he had the Lamar plant back up and running, even before the sale was made final.

"I purchased raw materials for production to start up again," he said. All the products

Archbold's mayor was sympathetic to Lamar's plight:

Archbold Mayor Jim Wyse said, "The community of Archbold is extremely excited to finally have some positive news on the job front. As this community has learned first-hand the past 18 months, sometimes the joy of job creation in one community is offset by the great disappointment from the loss of jobs in another community.

"So, having been on the disappointed end the past few months, our joy is subdued as we realize that the 200 new jobs coming to Archbold, Ohio, are the result of people in Lamar, Missouri, losing their jobs."


Anonymous said...

Gee, I wonder if Sauder is getting a tax write-off in the deal?

Anonymous said...

Too bad buying O'Sullivan has put Sauder in debt and will be laying people off soon. This was a bad idea but at least Kevin can get those gold toilets for his million dollar mansion.