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CPAC Inc. plans to close its imaging chemicals plant in St. Louis, Mo., and shift those operations to a sister factory in Norcross, Ga., the Leicester-based specialty chemicals manufacturer said.

The plant closing is part of CPAC's efforts to cut costs at a time when the slumping economy and competition from digital cameras are cutting into its domestic imaging chemicals market.

"This plant closure is a bold move to accommodate these market forces while simultaneously focusing on expanding opportunities overseas," said Steven E. Baune, the president of CPAC's worldwide imaging business.

CPAC said both plants had excess capacity and that, by combining their operations, the company will be able to cut costs and consolidate its imaging chemicals operations into a single facility.

The St. Louis plant, which employs 26 people, makes chemicals that are used to develop photographic film and paper. The factory is expected to close by September.

CPAC officials did not disclose the impact that the plant closing will have on its earnings, although those costs will be reflected in its fourth-quarter earnings that will be released shortly.

CPAC said it picked the Georgia plant as the surviving site for its imaging chemicals business because of its size and potential to accommodate future growth, as well as the costs of relocating and retooling the combined business there.


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