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Monday, 21 July 2014 11:08

Sale of Ormet Corp. facility approved on Friday

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United Steelworkers may appeal judge's decision regarding pensions

HANNIBAL, Ohio -- After nearly a year-and-a-half of bankruptcy proceedings, failed negotiations and massive layoffs, a judge has approved the sale of a now-defunct Monroe County aluminum smelter.

On Friday, Judge Mary Walrath cleared the sale of the Ormet Corporations' assets to Niagra Worldwide for $25.25 million. Walrath also rejected arguments by the United Steelworkers that the plant's new owner should honor a portion of Ormet's pension obligations. The union can appeal the ruling.

The United Steelworkers' St. Clairsville office did not immediately respond to AVC News' request for comment.

The site was auctioned off to the Wisconsin-based Niagara at a Cincinnati law firm on June 27. Niagara President Eric Spirtas said, at that time, that his company will "engage in actions that will create jobs and services that support the community and local industry."

Ormet filed for bankruptcy in February 2013. Officials announced in October the company would close the plant and lay off more than 1,000 workers after state utility regulators rejected portions of its proposed deal for reducing electricity costs.

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