Written Answers. - Job Losses.

Michael Bell

Question:

203 Mr. Bell asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the outcome of any discussion her Department or the IDA had with a company (details supplied) in County Louth regarding its decision to close on 8 December 2000; the steps taken to avert the closure; the plans she has to secure an alternative replacement industry for this plant; the further plans she has to purchase the factory building from the company; the financial interest the IDA has in the plant; the finance due to the State and when; when and the date on which the company indicated that it proposed to close; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [20216/00]

IDA Ireland recently met the company to discuss the decision to close the facility in early December 2000. IDA Ireland was informed that every attempt to keep the facility operating profitably had been exhausted and the decision to close the company was final and irreversible.

IDA Ireland has worked closely with the company over the past decade in attempting to identify suitable joint venture partners compatible with its product expertise and to secure sub-contract work from a number of overseas consumer product companies. A number of these potential clients entered into direct discussions with the company. However, due to the competitive nature of the business, these discussions did not prove successful.

IDA Ireland has a property policy in place which does not permit the purchase of factories from companies which cease their operations in Ireland. IDA will endeavour to secure a suitable client for the facility in Drogheda. However, the premises is in the ownership of the company and the company has indicated to IDA that it will be placing the facility for sale on the open market.

The company was approved grant assistance of £2.316 million from IDA Ireland of which £1.56 million has been paid. Contingent liability attached to these grants has expired.

The company indicated its intention to close the facility in Drogheda on 15 September 2000.