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Seminis Inc. to Open New Seed Plant in Oxnard

March 07, 2000|BARBARA MURPHY

Seminis Inc. in Saticoy, the world's largest developer, producer and marketer of vegetable seeds, says it will open a state-of-the-art seed processing, packaging and shipping plant in Oxnard as part of a new program designed to streamline operations, increase utilization of facilities and improve efficiency.

The first phase of the plan focuses on North American operations. Besides opening the Oxnard facility this fiscal year, the company plans to expand its plant in Warden, Wash., by next year.

Company officials said the new facilities will give Seminis increased capacity to meet customer needs. Seminis will consolidate operations in two facilities in California and further consolidate operations based in two facilities in Idaho in the next fiscal year.

"The positive impact of this initiative is clear," said Alejandro Rodriguez, president and chief operating officer. "After making nine acquisitions since 1994 and nearly five years of intense integration of our global operations, this initiative demonstrates Seminis' commitment to capitalize on our global position and extensive resources."

Immediate cost savings are expected to be $500,000. Seminis expects to achieve annual cost savings of close to $2 million in fiscal 2001 and well in excess of that in fiscal years 2002 and beyond.

Seminis said it will record a restructuring charge of approximately $600,000 in the second quarter. The company also expects to record nonrecurring expenses for the North American operations reorganization of approximately $2.6 million and $1.1 million for fiscal years 2000 and 2001, respectively.

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