Heinz Says U.K. Plant Closing to Cost $45 Million

HJ Heinz expects $45 million of costs tied to the planned shutdown of the Westwick plant in the U.K. next year that will cut 200 jobs.

The costs include about $12 million related to severance and $33 million in asset writedowns, the Pittsburgh-based company said in a regulatory filing today.

Heinz has cut staffing to help meet profit targets at Jorge Paulo Lemann’s 3G Capital, which took the company private last year with Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. The company has eliminated more than 4,000 corporate and field positions through September. It also announced plans to shut five factories this year.

“Continued efficiencies allow the company to increase investment in our brands and accelerate innovation, while discontinuing unprofitable sales,” Michael Mullen, a spokesman for the company, said in an e-mail today.

Heinz manufactured Aunt Bessie’s frozen potato products at the plant, according to an article last month in FoodProductiondaily.com. Westwick is being closed “due to the expiration of a license to manufacture a non-core product,” according to the filing.

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