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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

'Job Saver' Romney Visits Cincinnati Corp. Closing Maine Plant: Cut Slams Small Town Despite State's $6 Million Business Tax Break

The Lobster Claw in Saco, Maine
CINCINNATI (TDB) -- The Cincinnati biomedical company Republican Mitt Romney visited  -- and where he touted himself as a job saver -- actually is in the process of closing a manufacturing plant in Maine.  The work is being transferred to Memphis, Tenn., as a cost-cutting move by Meridian Bioscience, which is taking a $2.2 million write down but hasn't disclosed how many jobs are being eliminated.  Romney was clueless that Meridian is trying to sell its soon-to-be vacant operation in Saco, Maine, a small coastal community about 12 miles from Portland, the state's largest city.  Standing on a loading dock at Meridian's headquarters in Cincinnati, Romney said:  "Some people, mostly in Washington, tend to think it's government that makes America work.  Those guys are wrong."

Meridian has received tax incentives from Maine, including a $6 million business equipment tax refund in FY 10.  Yet it is packing up and abandoning a small New England community that needs every paycheck available.  City Administrator Richard Michaud said he was not aware that Meridian was leaving Saco, but that the move will hurt.  Michaud told The Daily Bellwether:  "There's a whole array of small plants in our business park.  Meridian is not one of the major employers here, but losing any employer is not a good thing in the timeset we are in."

Romney, who founded Bain Capital in the 1980s, has been criticized for closing plants that were profitable in order to squeeze out more money for private equity stakeholders.  His business tactics have been an issue in the GOP presidential primary season.  Newt Gingrich called Romney a cold capitalist:  "Is capitalism really about the ability of a handful of rich people to manipulate the lives of thousands of others people and walk off with the money?"

While Romney tried to blame President Obama's healthcare programs for hurting businesses, Meridian said in its most recent 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission that a product line wasn't selling.  The company said nothing about Obama's economic policies.  It said it wanted lower production costs and would shed the Maine operation to achieve them.  A company press release is available by clicking her on the Financial News Network. And excerpts from the 10-K filed last month are avaiable to see after the jump break.

 As a result of the order volume trends in bulk antigens, antibodies and reagents, during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011, we announced the closure of our Saco, Maine facility, and began the transfer of our manufacturing operations from this facility to our Memphis, Tennessee facility. We expect the consolidation of manufacturing operations in Memphis will provide a lower overall cost structure and should be completed during the second fiscal quarter of 2012. Total costs to complete the consolidation of facilities are expected to be approximately $2.2 [million] consisting of fixed asset impairments, inventory impairments, stay bonuses and moving costs, among other similar items. During the fourth quarter of 2011, we recognized $1.057 [million] of these costs, and the balance will be recognized during fiscal 2012, primarily during the first half of the fiscal year.

Our facility in Saco, Maine, the operations of which we are
in the process of consolidating with the Memphis facility, contains approximately 23,000 square feet for manufacturing, sales, distribution and administrative
functions. In anticipation of the consolidation of the Maine operations with the Tennessee location being completed during the second quarter of fiscal 2012,
we are marketing the property for sale or lease.

Democrats portrayed Romney as a hypocrite who is focused on money rather than people.  Said Hamilton County Democratic Party Chair Tim Burkey: 

"Nothing Mitt Romney says can change the fact that he spent his career as a corporate buyout specialist who put profits over people and lined his pockets by outsourcing jobs, closing down plants and laying off workers. His 59-point economic plan would do nothing to create jobs now, fix America's economy or help struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure. His tax plan would benefit the ultra-wealthy and do nothing to help middle-class families in Greater Cincinnati, and he even belittled President Obama's successful effort to cut taxes for middle-class families by $1,500 a year. And despite his attempts to revise history, the fact is Ohio's auto industry would not exist as we know it if Mitt Romney had his way.

"Cincinnati voters also haven't forgotten Governor Romney's last visit to the Cincinnati area, when he falsely said that he didn't have a position on Senate Bill 5 - even though he had come to Ohio for the purpose of campaigning for Senate Bill 5. And they will not forget that the very next day in Virginia, he said that he 'fully' supported John Kasich's attacks on Ohio workers after telling Ohio voters he had no position."


  1. Burke should get his facts straight, Bain has created many more jobs, than jobs lost due to their successful business practices. What in the world does Timmy know about creating jobs? He must still be po'd because he couldn't hold together the brokered juvenile court deal.

    Meridian is a fine tax paying corporate entity.

  2. The wife of Meridian's founder is an Obama supporter. She is on the committee that is bringing First Lady Michelle Obama to Cincinnati for a fundraiser Feb. 23. Romney is a vulture capitalist whose campaign, as the Democrats have been saying, is on life support. And, in case you forgot, Meridian co-sponsored a Jobs Stimulus program in the State of Ohio just a few years ago.