Leamington expected to hear good news on Heinz plant today mayor says

Update 9:30 a.m.: H.J. Heinz said Thursday it has signed a letter of intent to sell its Leamington plant to Highbury Canco, a Canadian firm. The plant was to be shut down. More details soon . . .—————LEAMINGTON, Ont. — Leamington, Ont., may be about to hear some good news after it was devastated last November by word of the planned closure of a major employer in the community.[np_storybar title=”Heinz in Leamington” link=”https://business.financialpost.com/2013/11/14/heinz-in-leamington-a-look-back-at-ketchup-giants-history-in-canadas-tomato-capital/”%5DA look back at ketchup giant’s history in Canada’s tomato capital in photos [/np_storybar]A statement is expected Thursday morning from food giant Heinz on negotiations that could save a southwestern Ontario tomato processing plant from complete closure. Leamington Mayor John Paterson told the CBC he has been in contact with a company official and that a decision is expected between 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.Heinz said it would close its plant in the southwestern Ontario community by late June, putting close to 800 full-time employees out of work.Various unconfirmed media reports suggest an announcement could be made this week about a partial reopening of the facility.Leamington Mayor John Paterson says Heinz now plans to shed some light on efforts being made to save the plant, adding that the company has told him “it will be a good day.”Paterson says a number of serious business proposals regarding the facility emerged after Heinz said it planned to shutter the plant.He says the municipality isn’t privy to talks between Heinz and the interested parties.Ontario’s minister of economic development, trade and employment said while he couldn’t comment on negotiations between Heinz and any potential investor or buyer, the province wanted to do all it could to support Leamington.News of the closure came after Heinz was sold last year to Warren Buffett’s Berskhire Hathaway for more than US$28 billion.In November, the world famous investor promised Leamington workers “very generous severance” packages.The initial Heinz decision also affected up to 500 seasonal workers hired each year during tomato-harvesting season.

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