A NEW owner is a source of renewed hope for Ormet Corp. workers.
Niagara Worldwide LLC is now in line to take over ownership of the idled aluminum plant in Monroe County. The company secured the rights to purchase the assets of Ormet Corp. for $25.25 million during a private auction last week.
The Wisconsin-based company has purchased all of the plant's holdings, including property, equipment and buildings. Niagara Worldwide's focus is acquiring, marketing, managing and selling idle industrial properties and assets.
In Ormet, Niagara takes control of what was in years past one of the Ohio Valley's industrial foundations. Ormet, at the time of its closing, employed nearly 1,000 workers in well-paying positions.
Ormet not only meant a great deal to Monroe County, but also the Switzerland of Ohio School District and much of the Ohio Valley. Ormet's financial tentacles were far-reaching and openly embraced.
While the Hannibal-based facility's fate remains in limbo, Niagara's move does yield optimism. Eric J. Spirtas is the firm's president.
He has a successful resume in making purchases like Ormet profitable ventures by developing a game plan and securing investors. Although Spirtas offers no guarantees about starting Ormet back up, some of his post-acquisition remarks do give us hope for a resumption of production.
"We buy idle businesses and buildings and try to redevelop and right the ship," Spirtas said. ""With the great labor base out there, somehow, some way, we want to find something that benefits everyone down the road. It is a fantastic region, and it has incredible resources, which is why for 60 years they've had a plant there."
Much research, planning and homework needs to be done before Niagara Worldwide LLC decides what route it is going to pursue with its newest possession. One thing is certain, the company bought Ormet with the intentions of making money.
We hope those plans eventually return Ormet to its past glory.