Diebold to Sell Safe Manufacturing Plants

March 5, 2013
New owner Porter's Group pledges to add jobs, capital investments

March 05--Diebold Inc. is selling its Lexington plant, as well as a plant in Lynchburg, Va., to a long-time supplier.

However, the implications on its local full-time workforce of about 50 are unclear.

Diebold said Monday it is selling the plants to Porter's Group of Bessemer City as part of its "on-going consolidation and efficiency efforts within its supply chain." The sale price was not disclosed.

About the same time, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership announced that Porter's was establishing its first Virginia plant in Lynchburg. The partnership said Porter's would make fabricated metal products there, such as safes and related products and parts.

Porter's pledged to establish 120 jobs and spend $1.8 million in capital investments. In return, it was made eligible for a $300,000 grant from the governor's Opportunity Fund to assist Lynchburg officials with the project.

"All the plant operations are moving to Porter's Group, including the employees," Diebold spokesman Mike Jacobsen said Tuesday. He said the Lexington workforce includes temporary and seasonal employees. Jacobsen said Diebold's Lynchburg plant has about 90 full-time workers.

Although Jacobsen said he does not believe Porter's has any immediate plans for the local workforce," that's a question for them moving forward."

Officials with Porter's and the Virginia economic-development group could not be reached for immediate comment Tuesday.

Not part of the dell is Diebold's plant in Greensboro, where ATM final assembly and configuration is conducted.

Diebold opened the Lexington operation in 1997 and makes physical security products, such as safe deposit boxes and bank branch equipment. It has had a mixed presence in Lexington.

In May 2008, it was made eligible for $123,638 in local incentives for expanding its Lexington plant, pledging to retain at least 250 jobs and spend $4.5 million on capital investments to the facility at 118 Lexington Parkway. Jacobsen said the company completed upgrades to the facility.

However, in October 2009, Diebold said it was cutting 80 full- and 20 part-time jobs in Lexington, reducing the workforce to about 100. It said it was shifting 40 to 50 jobs to its Greensboro plant at that time.

The deal is the second between the companies involving Diebold facilities.

In 2006, Porter's bought Diebold's plant in Sumter, S.C., where it still has operations.

"Porter's will continue to supply fabricated metal components and products to Diebold from its various locations and will add capacity in Lynchburg to serve additional customers" in the mid-Atlantic states, the company said in a statement.

Linda Parcher, Diebold's chief supply chain officer, said in a statement that the sale "will build greater flexibility into our production capacity and enhance our ability to serve our customers."

"During our long-time collaboration with Porter's, we have come to recognize them as a trusted partner in our North America supply chain operations."

[email protected]

(336) 727-7376

Copyright 2013 - Winston-Salem Journal, N.C.