Global Processing

Indian company to buy Colgate''s Kansas City plant

October 30, 2006

VVF Ltd. issued a letter of intent to buy the soon-to-be-closed Colgate Palmolive plant in Kansas City, Kan., and all its equipment for $12 million, according to bizjournals.com. VVF plans to spend an additional $6 million on plant upgrades and make the facility its North American manufacturing headquarters, the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kan., said in a release Monday. VVF is based in Mumbai, India. It currently has no North American headquarters but has a factory in Mississauga, Ontario, and an import office in New Jersey. VVF makes soap and shampoo used by hotel chains and produces products for well-known brands such as Johnson & Johnson, Amway and Pfizer. Colgate is in the process of shutting down its Kansas City, Kan. operations by year''s end. Peet Brothers established the plant 100 years ago and merged with Palmolive in 1926. VVF plans to reopen the plant in 2007 and hire as many as 60 employees with average salaries of about $35,000. Employment is projected to increase 10 percent to 15 percent a year. Colgate filed paperwork with the state of Kansas in September that allowed it to close the plant within 60 days. The plant employs about 240 workers and makes about 500 million bars of soap annually. The company had said in December 2004 that it planned to cut its work force by 12 percent, or about 4,450 jobs, and close about a third of its factories.