|Transcription||Pays U.S. $13 Million /
Firestone Takes Over La. Synthetics Plant /
By JOSEPH E. KUEBLER
Business And Industrial Writer
LAKE CHARLES, La.—Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. handed two king-sized checks totaling $13,136,612 to the government today and immediately became the owner of a bustling synthetic rubber plant here in Southwest Louisiana.
It was one of the first of 24 federal facilities to be transferred to private industry. By this time next week, the government virtually will be out of the synthetic rubber business.
Tuesday, Firestone officially takes over the synthetic plant on Wilbeth rd. in Akron. The cost will be $2,845,205 for the facilities and inventory.
Considering the huge sum involved today's transaction was short and to the point. J.E. Trainer, executive vice president, accompanied by Joseph Thomas, secretary and general counsel, handed the two checks to the three-man Rubber Producing Facilities Disposal Commission in a local attorney's office.
Earlier they went to a bank
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to have the checks certified. Trainer flew down here from Akron with the checks. The last step was the filing of the deed at the Calcsieu Parish Courthouse.
The price, of course, had been agreed upon months ago in negotiations between the company and the commission. Congress approved the sales last month, permitting the transfers to be made.
Under Louisiana law, a carryover from the Napoleonic days, the signing of transfer documents must take place in the parish (county) in which the property is located. The commission came from Washington and Firestone officials from Akron to wind up the deal.
THREE OTHER plants in the state also were transferred in the past two days. One of them at Baton Rouge was acquired by Copolymer Corp. which is jointly owned by seven companies, including Seiberling Rubber Co., Mansfield and Dayton Rubber Companies and Sears-Roebuck.
Firestone took over the Lake Charles facility which produces close to 100,000 tons of synthetic annually at 10 a. m. today. At that hour, all rubber flowing from the production line became Firestone property and was so packaged.
The first bale weighing 75 pounds will be taken to Akron and placed in the rubber exhibit at the Firestone Research Center.
ONE CHECK amounting to $11,612,612 was for the plant and the 80-acre site 14 miles west of Lake Charles near the Gulf Coast the other covered (text erased).
The Akron facility, also built by Firestone, was the first to produce rubber under the
government's wartime program, the first batching being made April 25, 1942.
THERE ARE 500 employed in the Louisiana plant and 350 in Akron. The two plants produce a total of 130,000 tons annually. It would take over 60,000 acres to produce that amount of natural rubber in the Far East.
Recognized as one of the most efficient and lowest cost producers of synthetic the Lake Charles facility has made 1 1/4 billion pounds of rubber to date. Butadiene the chief raw material is piped into the plant from an adjoining facility bought by Cities Service Co. and Continental Oil Co.
"Now that we have the new freedom of operating the synthetic plants according to the fundamentals of our private competitive economy, we intend to do all in our power to increase production and carry forward the research efforts we have been devoting to new synthetic rubbers" Trainer said.
He believes research will not only improve the quality but increase the use of the rubber. |