About 20 employees out of work
© Darrell Cole – Amherst Daily News
Amherst’s industrial park has been dealt a blow with the closure of Pure Energy Battery. The company, that employed about 20, was placed into receivership late last week.
AMHERST – An Amherst battery manufacturer has closed its doors throwing about 20 people out of work.
Peter Wedlake, senior vice-president with Grant Thornton in Halifax, confirmed Tuesday the manufacturer, located in the Amherst and Area Industrial Park, has gone into receivership.
“The company has been placed into receivership and we are just assessing the situation right now. It’s too early to determine what the best course is going forward,” Wedlake said.
Calls to the company’s Amherst office were referred to the receiver while locked doors greeted employees coming to work last Friday.
Wedlake is not sure how long the company will remain closed. He said it’s a possibility the company could operate while in receivership, but he said it’s too early to determine whether that will happen.
“We’re just assessing that right now,” he said. “We’re determining whether it makes sense to operate while going through the process to find a new buyer to take over the plant and hopefully reopen it.”
Pure Energy opened in the former Leaf Confectionary building in the mid-1990s. The company manufactured rechargeable alkaline batteries for markets in Canada, the United States and Europe.
It was purchased several years ago by Colorado-based Wild Charge. It’s not believed the receivership will affect the parent company.
Amherst Mayor Robert Small said he is disappointed with the news but hopeful a resolution will be found to see it reopened as soon as possible.
“Pure Energy has been an important part of our industrial park for nearly 20 years and we’re hopeful as a town that we will find a positive solution in terms of potential new ownership,” the mayor said. “We’re willing to work with the province and other entities in seeking a positive resolution. Hopefully, we will end up making the plant stronger if the right buyer can be found.”
This is not the first time the future of Pure Energy has been in question.
In 2011, officials with parent company, Colorado-based Wild Charge, announced it was laying off its entire Amherst workforce because of a shortage of materials required in the manufacturing process.
The company called workers back to the job about 10 days later.