TORONTO, March 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - George Weston Limited ("Weston") announced today that its wholly owned subsidiary Weston Foods, Inc., in its continuing review of cost reduction and other strategic opportunities as discussed in our recent fourth quarter, 2004 preliminary report to shareholders, plans to restructure its United States Interbake biscuit operations. The plan will result in the closure of two biscuit facilities located in Elizabeth, New Jersey and Richmond, Virginia over the next twelve to eighteen months. Employment at both facilities will be phased down as the majority of the production is relocated to a new facility in Virginia and an existing Interbake facility already operating in South Dakota. Once completed, this initiative is anticipated to result in lowering annual manufacturing costs and strengthening Weston's competitive position within its biscuit operations in the United States. As a result of this restructuring, Weston expects to recognize certain one-time exit and start-up costs of approximately $50 million over the next twelve to eighteen months including employee related severance and benefit costs, production equipment relocations, training and other facility start-up related costs. In addition, Weston expects to recognize accelerated depreciation on assets currently held in use of approximately $25 million over the next twelve to eighteen months. George Weston Limited, is a Canadian public company founded in 1882, and is one of North America's leading food processing and distribution companies.
SOURCE George Weston Limited