Moore Becomes Less
The once undisputed king of the forms industry has fallen upon hard times. Plagued by unchecked costs and flagging U.S. sales, Moore Corporation has suffered a series of quarterly losses, causing its board of directors to take serious action.
Following its third quarter $7.9 million loss, the company accepted $70.5 million of subordinated convertible debentures from an investment group led by Theodore Ammon. Some of the strings attached to the investment were the addition of four new seats to the board of directors from Ammon's group, including Robert Burton, who has been named president and CEO of Moore.
Judging from the postings on Yahoo's Message Board, Moore employees are worried—and with good reason. Burton has a history of cutting jobs and closing unprofitable divisions in pursuit of numbers that placate Wall Street.
It has begun at Moore with the announcement of a $100 million cost savings initiative. This has already resulted in the closing of Moore's Grand Island, N.Y., R&D facility and the promised elimination of 10 percent of Moore's 15,000 member workforce. It will in all probability continue beyond that with the sale or closure of facilities deemed unprofitable and additional reductions in the workforce.
However, the Moore situation does provide opportunities for other manufacturers who can expect to pick up some business resulting from the Moore closures. In addition, experienced technical and customer service personnel will be looking for work in what has been a tight job market. And many sales representatives will soon either be looking for employment or starting distributorships of their own.
All in all, the reorganization of Moore will probably result in additional business for the independent segment of the forms industry.
Bill Drennan, Editorial Director