General Mills to exit frozen waffle business, cut jobs

by Eric Schroeder
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MINNEAPOLIS — General Mills, Inc. announced it will exit the frozen waffle business, citing "declining financial results" as the primary driver for the decision.

As part of the move, General Mills said it will close its frozen waffle plant in Allentown, Pa., where 111 employees work, as well as a frozen dough facility in Trenton, Ont., where 470 people are employed.

In connection with the Allentown closing, General Mills said it recorded a charge of $10 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2008, consisting of $4 million in employee severance charges and $6 million in non-cash impairment charges.

In regards to the Trenton plant, the company said it recorded a $7 million charge in the first quarter of fiscal 2008 in connection with employee severance expenses and curtailment charges associated with a defined benefit pension plan. The company also will incur $17 million of accelerated depreciation charges associated with the facility in the second quarter of fiscal 2008.

Both facility closings and job cuts are expected to be completed by Feb. 28, 2009.

In addition to the facility closings, General Mills said it approved the restructuring of its production scheduling and the discontinuation of its cake product line at the company’s Chanhassen, Minn., Bakeries and Foodservice plant. The action affected 125 employees.

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