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Offray agrees to sale

February 11, 2002

Offray agrees to sale



By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI
kimy@herald-mail.com


A Pennsylvania ribbon manufacturer announced Friday a tentative agreement to pay $45 million for C.M. Offray & Son Inc.

Berwick Industries LCC, a subsidiary of CSS Industries, will acquire the Hagerstown business and its assets when the sale goes through on or about March 15, said Rick Lee, manager of the plant on Willow Circle.

"The expectation is that the operation will continue for the foreseeable future but we don't have a crystal ball," said Russell G. Hager, Offray executive vice president.

Prior to the sale, Offray planned to lay off 20 of its 500 employees because of a recession-related 5 to 10 percent revenue loss, Hager said.

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Those layoffs still will take place, but no employees are expected to lose their jobs because of the sale, he said.

Offray laid off 30 employees Nov. 23, 2001, because of economic conditions and rehired them Jan. 7. A few days later, 15 employees were laid off indefinitely.

Hager said Offray's employees, many of whom have worked there for decades, shouldn't be alarmed by the sale.

"I understand every effort is being made to offer comparable pay and benefits to employees," Hager said.

Offray's employees make an average of $10.50 per hour. The company operates three shifts five days a week producing decorative ribbon, floral accessories, fabric, crafts and packaging products.

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