Oerlikon Says Arbon Warehouse Fire Hasn’t Affected Operations

OC Oerlikon Corp. AG said a warehouse fire which damaged property in Arbon, where its Saurer textile-machinery business is located, hasn’t materially affected the company or its operations.

The fire, which started on the night of Aug. 19, devastated three to four halls of the Saurer Werk II warehouse complex in Arbon, a Swiss town on Lake Constance on the border with Germany, Andreas Schwarzwaelder, a spokesman, said by telephone. The fire didn’t reach Oerlikon offices or production facilities, he said.

Oerlikon said on March 23 that it sold Saurer Werk II to HRS Investment AG, a Swiss real estate firm, for 35 million Swiss francs ($36.2 million). Oerlikon has moved much of its textile machinery business including the unit’s leadership to Shanghai as part of a restructuring. It subsequently leased back 14,000 square meters of the 200,000 square-meter property.

The company has 120 production and administration employees at the Saurer business in Arbon who have returned to work as normal, Schwarzwaelder said.

Saurer is part of the natural fibers division of Oerlikon’s textile unit. Natural fibers accounted for about 40 percent of the textile unit’s 2011 sales of 2 billion Swiss francs, Chief Executive Officer Michael Buscher said in April.

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