THE merger of one of Castlebar’s leading employers, American Power Conversion (APC), with a leading French electric company has led to fears of job losses in the Castlebar plant.
French giants Schneider Electric and APC agreed to the merger at the end of October, which will see Schneider Electric acquiring all outstanding shares in a transaction valued at approximately $6.1 billion. The transaction was approved by the Board of Directors and is expected to close in the coming weeks with shares acquired for $31 in cash.
APC has been operating in Castlebar since 1997 and currently employs close to 100 people in its plant on the Breaffy Road. There is uncertainty in the plant as to what direction the new owners will take with the Irish operations of the company. APC also has a plant on the site of the former Digital plant in Galway, where it employs approximately 400 people. However, last year the company announced 250 lay-offs in Ireland, with the Galway plant worst affected, causing manufacturing to cease there. At the time Debbie Hancock, the director of industrial relations at APC, said that the Irish lay-offs were part of a wider company plan to cut four per cent of its staff worldwide.
The Mayor of Castlebar, Cllr Brendan Henaghan told The Mayo News that the county town could ill afford to lose any more manufacturing jobs which have become increasingly hard to replace.