EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

Penn Racquet Sports

Penn Racquet Sports

Geographic Location

Country: Ireland
Region: Midland; Border, Midland and Western


Sector: Manufacturing
Manufacture of textiles, apparel, leather and related products
13 - Manufacture of textiles
Number Employed: 116
Group: Head (USA)

Employment Effects

Announcement Date: 03-12-2003
Planned Job Reductions min: 116
Planned Job Reductions max: 116
Type of Restructuring: Bankruptcy/Closure
Foreseen End Date: 01-03-2004
Direct Dismissals: 116

Additional Information

Tennis-ball manufacturer Penn Racquet Sports plans to close its Irish factory in Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, with 116 job losses. At its height, the plant produced 80,000 tennis balls a day. Production will transfer to a sister facility in Phoenix, Arizona, US, by March 2004, which is likely to have been motivated by a desire to protect American jobs. With the US government pressurising manufacturers to safeguard domestic jobs, Penn Ireland may be a victim of its parent's determination to protect operations in Phoenix. In a statement Penn, which opened in Mullingar in 1974, blamed the closure on a slump in tennis ball sales and competition from cheaper Far East rivals. The plants prospects have been grim following the closure in March of its main supplier, Kilkenny-based Textech. Since then, raw materials have been sourced at much greater expense from Maine in the US.