CONYERS -- A Lithonia Lighting plant in Cochran will close later this year, eliminating more than 400 jobs; however, it does not appear that any of that production will transition to its sister Acuity Brands Lighting plant in Conyers.
The company announced plans last week to transition production from the Cochran facility to other plants in North America. Lithonia Lighting is a product division of Acuity Brands.
According to a statement released to employees Friday, products currently made in Cochran will be relocated to plants in Winona, Minn., Crawfordsville, Ind., Dallas, Monterrey, Mexico, and four additional regional manufacturing centers.
According to a filing with the Securities Exchange Commission Friday, the Cochran plant closing is expected to be completed by the end of 2012 and is "part of the company's previously disclosed ongoing streamlining efforts to improve efficiencies and reduce costs, as well as to enhance customer service capabilities." The Cochran facility manufactures less than 10 percent of Acuity's total sales.
Acuity expects to realize annualized pre-tax savings, due to lower labor and manufacturing costs, of approximately $8 million, according to the filing.
In addition, the company expects to have a pre-tax special charge of about $15 million associated with the plant closing. This charge consists primarily of severance and employee-related costs, production transfer expenses and non-cash asset impairments, according to the filing.
The Lithonia Lighting plant in Cochran is the largest employer in Bleckley County. The plant was downsized by about 50 percent of its employees in February 2011.
Lithonia Lighting has operated in the Cochran plant since 1973.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the job cuts come as Acuity works to grow less reliant on new construction by diversifying into areas like lighting-control devices and energy-efficient products.
According to its website, Acuity Brands is a North American market leader and one of the world's leading providers of luminaires, lighting control systems and related products and services with fiscal year 2010 net sales of over $1.6 billion. The company's lighting and system control product lines include Lithonia Lighting, Holophane, Peerless, Mark Architectural Lighting, Hydrel(R), American Electric Lighting, Gotham, Carandini, RELOC, Antique Street Lamps, Tersen, Winona Lighting, Syner gy Lighting Controls, Sensor Switch, Lighting Control & Design, ROAM and Sunoptics. Acuity Brands employs ap proximately 6,000 associates and has operations throughout North America, Europe and Asia.