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Atkore to reorganize, slash work force

Keywords: Tags  Atkore, Allied Tube & Conduit, John Williamson, Jim Mallak, layoffs, steel, Michael Cowden

CHICAGO — Atkore International Holdings Inc. is planning layoffs and a wide-ranging corporate restructuring that appears to be focused largely on its Allied Tube & Conduit Corp. business.

The move comes as the Harvey, Ill.-based company grapples with poor business conditions while also mulling a possible initial public offering (IPO) within the next few years.

The changes will see the company organized into three business units: Allied Tube & Conduit, AFC Cable Systems and Unistrut, which makes metal framing systems. The company said the realignment will go into effect Oct. 1.

"Our North American pipe, tube and conduit business remains under intense competitive pressure, and some favorable developments we have seen in the last year within a few of our other businesses now look unlikely to continue," the company said in a news release signed by Atkore president and chief executive officer John Williamson.

He said Atkore was looking to cut its global work force—including union and non-union positions—by about 5 percent using a combination of voluntary and involuntary reductions. Employees to be laid off will receive notice by Aug. 20 and will leave the company no later than Sept. 28, he said.

Atkore employs about 3,100 workers at 23 manufacturing and distribution facilities, according to its website.

The decision to make the cuts was not one Atkore made lightly, Williamson said, but the company is entering a period "of little or no improvement in market conditions and business activity that may stretch into late 2013 or later."

As part of a host of changes at the company, Williamson said he would lead Allied until the organizational structure of the business unit had "solidified" and a new permanent president could be named.

Atkore chief financial officer Jim Mallak will assume the additional role of vice president of finance at Allied on an interim basis, and Atkore vice president of human resources Kevin Fitzpatrick, information technology director Ken Gonzalez and vice president of sourcing Steve Robins will serve in the same positions for Allied on an interim basis while continuing to hold their current roles.

In addition, Kristin Johnson-Holz will become Allied’s vice president of marketing, Tom German will become Allied’s vice president of operations, Ed Kurasz will assume the role of Allied’s executive vice president for sales, and Gary Uren will be promoted to Atkore vice president of business development and strategy.

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