Anchor Glass files for Chapter 11

Anchor Glass Container Corp., which employs over 300 people at its plant in Salem County, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the company announced this week.

The filing means the company will seek reorganization of its debts. This comes with the company last week announcing it will have to restate its financial statements for 2001, 2002 and 2003 and possibly 2004 because of what's been alleged as improper accounting.

On Wall Street Tuesday, Anchor stock was trading at 16 cents a share, a 52-week low.

Anchor produces glass containers at its eight plants, making it one of the national leaders in that industry.

Ben Bell, human resources manager at the Salem plant on Griffith Street, directed questions to the company's corporate headquarters in Florida. He said the Salem employees have been notified of the Chapter 11 filing, and that the plant will remain open.

A spokesman at Anchor's headquarters did not return phone calls seeking comment Tuesday.

The Salem plant has 350 employees, making it one of the bigger employers in the county.

Anchor Glass is the last glass works in Salem County, which was once home to several.

The plant relies on the Salem County Railroad to receive raw materials. But derailments on the line in the past have forced the company to truck in supplies, a costlier alternative.

That's an issue Anchor officials have raised with state lawmakers, who see it as a priority to keep the Salem plant open.

"We're going to make sure that everything that can be done will be done to ensure this plant ... can continue operating in our state," said Assemblyman Douglas H. Fisher, D-3, on Tuesday. "The cost of them leaving is enormous."

He's proposed a series of tax breaks and other relief as a way to help out the glass maker.

State officials have sought to fix the problem by investing millions of dollars into repairing the railroad, which runs from Salem County to Gloucester County.

600450 Anchor Glass files for Chapter 11

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