Energizer to close Franklin facility, cut 64 employees

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St. Louis-based battery giant Energizer Holdings Inc., which opened a packaging and distribution center in Franklin less than five years ago, has notified state officials that it plans to close the facility by the end of April.

Currently, 64 employees work at the facility at 180 Bartram Parkway in Franklin Tech Park, just east of Interstate 65 and south of State Road 44.

“The entire facility will be closed and all employees at the facility will be impacted,” Energizer wrote in a letter to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

Layoffs will begin April 1, and the facility will close by the end of that month, the letter says.

Energizer did not immediately respond to a phone message left Monday morning.

In October 2019, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. issued its preliminary approval to offer up to $3.65 million in state tax credits for Energizer, based on the company’s plan to create 440 jobs at the facility by the end of 2023.

Energizer also sought local incentives from the city of Franklin in late 2019, and city documents indicated the company planned to spend $4.1 million on real estate and $58.6 million to equip the building.

According to the IEDC’s transparency portal, the contract finalizing the IEDC’s incentives offer was signed in March 2020.

But the transparency portal also shows that Energizer has only claimed $85,196 in tax credits to date. The credits are performance-based, meaning that a company can claim the credit only after it has created jobs.

The Franklin facility saw major job reductions in October, when Energizer ceased its packaging operations at the site.

Franklin Mayor Steve Barnett said at the time that he expected about 100 employees would lose their jobs.

Public filings show that Energizer has been trimming its operations beyond just the Franklin site.

In October, the company notified Wisconsin officials that it planned to close its Fennimore, Wisconsin, facility by September 2024, eliminating 172 jobs.

In the company’s most recent annual report, filed in November, the company referenced what it called a “profit recovery program” called Project Momentum, which the company’s board of directors had approved in November 2022 and was expected to continue into this year.

Energizer described Project Momentum as “an enterprise-wide restricting focused on recovering operating margins, optimizing our manufacturing, distribution and global supply chain networks, and enhancing our organizational efficiency across the company.”

Energizer is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of batteries, producing batteries under the Energizer, Ray-O-Vac, Varta, and Eveready brand names.

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