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WJBD - Local News - Gilster-Mary Lee Sells Centralia Plant to Pinnacle; Will Retain Workforce

Gilster-Mary Lee Sells Centralia Plant to Pinnacle; Will Retain Workforce

By Bruce Kropp, WJBD News

The Gilster-Mary Lee Corporation has signed an agreement to sell its Centralia plant that makes Duncan Hines cake mixes and frostings to Pinnacle Foods, Incorporated.   Pinnacle intends to retain the estimated 300 jobs at the plant.  Centralia City Manager Dan Ramey says the sale is good news for the city and employees.  

"We've got a lot of hopes with Pinnacle taking over about possible expansion in the future. We're working with them on this regarding possible new property acquisition, etc. There are a lot of things going on...I think it's a win win situation" said Ramey.

The Gilster-Mary Lee plant in Centralia was making the Duncan Hines products under a subcontract with Pinnacle.  Ramey said if the purchase negotiations had not been successful, the contract could have been terminated resulting in the production being moved elsewhere and the loss of the jobs at the facility.  Now, the Centralia plant has the potential of picking up additional Duncan Hines production being completed elsewhere.   The sale includes the building infrastructure, equipment and related assets.  Terms have not been disclosed.  The deal is expected to be finalized March 31st.  The state of Illinois is providing tax credits based on the number of jobs retained by Pinnacle.  

Ramey says the sale does not effect the other Gilster-Mary Lee Corporation Plant in the Centralia Industrial Park that makes corrugated containers.  

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