Rumors began circulating this morning. Del Monte confirms Sleepy Eye plant closing.

News just confirmed, Aug. 20, 2019:

Del Monte Pacific Limited announced closure of production facilities of U.S. subsidiary Del Monte Foods. This includes the Del Monte plant in Sleepy Eye.

An official announcement was sent to the Herald-Dispatch (see below) plus the following local information.

The Sleepy Eye plant will be permanently closed after the current pack season; on or around October 21. Layoffs will begin in stages after pack season and conclude when all labeling, shipping, and closing activities are completed around June 2020.

Approximately 69 full-time and 294 seasonal employees are expected to be impacted.

Del Monte Pacific Limited’s official announcement:

Del Monte Pacific Limited announced its intention to move to an asset-light strategy and divest production facilities of U.S. subsidiary Del Monte Foods.

Facilities to be closed are located at Sleepy Eye, Minnesota and Mendota, Illinois. Production will cease at these facilities at the end of the current pack season. In addition, Del Monte's Cambria, Wisconsin facility will be sold as an operating facility after completion of pack. The company will also be selling manufacturing assets at its Crystal City, Texas facility and intends to transfer production at this site to outside locations later this year.

Production at these locations will be primarily transitioned to other Del Monte production facilities in the United States. These facility closures offer Del Monte the ability to fully utilize the capacity of its existing production facilities and increase its focus on branded growth and innovation.

“This decision has been difficult and has come after careful consideration. This restructuring is a necessary step for us to remain competitive in a rapidly changing marketplace. Our asset-light strategy will lead to more efficient and lower cost operations,” said Joselito D. Campos, Jr., Managing Director and CEO, Del Monte Pacific Limited. “We are committed to doing all we can to provide the affected employees with resources and support.”

[Del Monte Pacific Limited is dual listed on the Mainboards of the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited and the Philippine Stock Exchange, Inc.]