A family-owned Ralls County company has bought Intermet plants in Palmyra and Monroe City.


A family-owned Ralls County company has bought Intermet plants in Palmyra and Monroe City.
The deal means the facilities will stay open and 70 full-time jobs will be saved.
Continental Castings LLC, a division of Perry Machine & Die, acquired the two facilities from Intermet Corp., which is mired in bankruptcy proceedings. Terms were not disclosed.
“The opportunity presented itself and we felt this was the right thing to do,” said Leah Berry, Continental’s human resources manager.
Continental executive met with Palmyra and Monroe City workers Tuesday.
“It was very, very positive,” Berry said. “It was also very positive with out current employees.”
Perry Machine and Continental Castings make products for the home furnishings, automotive, industrial, sporting goods and communications industries worldwide.
Berry said the diversity has helped the company survive the economic hardships that affected other diemakers.
”We’re a custom molder,” she said. “We’ll do short runs or long runs.”
Berry said no major renovations or changes are planned at the Palmyra and Monroe City plants, and there hasn’t been any discussion of adding jobs.
The facilities will continue to produce castings for the automotive industry.
“We’re taking it one day at a time,” Berry said.
Intermet had filed an intention with the federal government to close the plants Dec. 12. Civic leaders in both communities were delighted by the purchase.
“It’s probably the best possible outcome I had heard,” said Monroe City Mayor Neal Minor.
“With unemployment like it is, if we have a business that’s going to retain people it’s going to be a benefit,” said Palmyra Mayor Loren Graham.
Perry Machine & Die was established in 1974 with two employees in a 1,500-square-foot building, and focused upon tool and diecasting work.
Production machining was added in 1980 and plastic molding work began in 1983. Continental Castings was added when aluminum diecasting began in 1998.
The firm was started by Paul and Linda Berry. One son, David, is president and another son, Dale, is a manager. A daughter, Tina Brown, is the controller. Leah Berry is a daughter-in-law.
The company has 80 employees, features annual sales of more than $12 million and operates from a 125,000-square-foot facility on Route J north of Perry.
“We have a long history of manufacturing,” Leah Berry said. “We are very confident that the business will grow in the future.”
An Intermet spokesman declined to comment. The Texas-based firm’s August 2008 bankruptcy filing was its second in four years.
The company’s Hannibal facility closed a year after the first filing in 2004, and many of the workers were shifted to Monroe City or Palmyra. The two plants at one time had more than 400 employees.
Intermet cited slumping sales in the automotive industry and high commodity prices for its latest Chapter 11 filing.
The bankruptcy later was changed to a Chapter 7 and many of Intermet’s assets, including the Monroe City and Palmyra sites, were on the verge of liquidation.
The bankruptcy case proceeds, but the Continental purchase means the case no longer involves the two facilities.
Another Monroe City diecasting firm, Pace Industries, announced last spring that is was closing its 220,000-square-foot facility at 135 Front Street.
The Arkansas-based firm had 186 employees, but has gradually reduced the number and is expected to complete operations by the end of the year.