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Plumbing Plant Sale Keeps 400 Jobs In MS

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 1:52pm
The Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Miss. (AP) — Beneke Magnolia Inc. has acquired Sanderson Plumbing Products Inc. and the purchase will ensure that 400 jobs remain at the Columbus plant, officials said Monday.

Gov. Phil Bryant announced the deal in a news release. Beneke Magnolia makes an assortment of toilet seats and was the exclusive supplier of toilet seats to NASA's Space Shuttle Program.

"Business retention is a critical component of economic development, and the State of Mississippi stands committed to helping our existing companies retain their workers and thrive over the long term," Bryant said.

The Mississippi Development Authority provided the company with a loan and assistance through the Momentum Mississippi incentives program. The Columbus-Lowndes Development Link also helped.

"We feel that these jobs and this facility are invaluable to Columbus, Lowndes County and the state of Mississippi, and we look forward to growing and expanding our business," said Tom Whitaker, chief executive officer of Beneke Magnolia.

While the company's name has changed a number of times over the years, the facility has been in continuous production in Columbus since the 1930s.

"I am delighted Beneke Magnolia, a locally-owned company, has purchased SPPI to ensure its doors will stay open in Columbus and its 400 employees will continue to have jobs," said Jim Barksdale, interim executive director of MDA.

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