Niagara Gazette

December 8, 2013

IN BUSINESS: FMC, Tops make investment into local community

BY JOE OLENICK
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — FMC is making a $5 million investment in its Middleport plant on Telegraph Road.

The company's Agricultural Solutions division has been seeing an increase in business demand, necessitating the need for more work and capacity at the Middleport facility. The facility is a formulations plant which mixes and packages FMC products.

FMC invested $1.6 million this year in Middleport and expects to spend close to $3 million next year. And that investment is a great sign of confidence in the plant, said Manager Noel Parker. "The growth has been exciting for us," Parker said. "It's a good amount of money."

Insecticides, herbicides and other agricultural products mixed and packaged at FMC Middleport are delivered for nearly 100 different crops in more than 75 different countries.

The investment will be to support the new product lines and cover the costs of changing the Middleport facility to a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week operation. FMC Middleport hasn't done that in a long time, the last being well before the plant turned over to a packaging and mixing location in 1985.

The investment has added seven new employees and could lead to seven new workers over the next year. Safety is another part of the investment, as several improvements are being made in plant safety and compliance with regulations.

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Tops Markets is once again a locally owned supermarket chain.

A group of senior Tops management officials closed the purchase of the 159-store, 15,000 employee company from Morgan Stanley Private Equity on Sunday. The group is led by Tops President and CEO Frank Curci, who has run Tops for six years.

Financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

Curci said when he came aboard six years ago, the plan was to turn Tops back into a locally owned company.

“This transaction represents the next step in the natural evolution of Tops that began six years ago when we returned operations and decision making to our local markets,” Curci said. “Now with local ownership as well, we will be able to build on our successes of the recent past, deepen our commitment to the markets we serve and further expand to better serve our associates and customers.”