MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - According to our partners at the Memphis Business Journal, Mitsubishi Electric plans to sell its factory in Memphis and layoff 160 workers.
The state-of-the-art, transformer manufacturing plant just opened six years ago, after the company received tens of million of dollars in tax incentives to do business in the Bluff City. Mitsubishi Electric was awarded a $34 million PILOT, Payment in Lieu of Taxes, in 2011. Basically, they cut a deal to get a break on property taxes for 15 years. The state of Tennessee came up with an additional $11 million infrastructure grant.
The factory, located at 2865 Riverport Road, makes the world’s largest transformers for North American power companies. But business has been sluggish and the Japanese company is reportedly looking at selling its plant to a rival. MBJ reports the general manager of the plant says the 160 workers getting laid off will likely get re-hired by the new owner.
Under its original PILOT deal, Mitsubishi agreed to employ 281 people at the factory. Records show 230 worked there last year, and 179 employees were on the payroll just a couple of months ago.
Company officials expect negotiations on the sale to be finalized in the near future.
No word when the pink slips will go out to workers.