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Deere Will Close Factory

December 19, 2001

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) _ Heavy equipment maker Deere & Co. will close a plant in Pontiac leaving 127 employees without jobs.

The company said Tuesday it will close its consumer products plant by the end of this week. The plant makes chain saw components for the slumping Homelite division.

Deere had sold most of its Homelite holdings in November to TechTronics Industries Co. of Hong Kong. But TechTronics didn’t acquire the Pontiac plant and Deere kept it open to search for a buyer.

Deere & Co. will pay workers ``several million dollars″ in severance, in some cases up to a year’s pay, company spokesman Ken Golden said. Deere will also transfer workers to other Deere plants and retain a few to oversee the shutdown and sale of equipment in the next few weeks, he said.

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