From staff and wire reports

FORT WAYNE and FREMONT

The bankrupt Tokheim Corp., at one time the world's largest producer of gasoline pumps, is expected to close its Fort Wayne plant today.

But Tokheim's new owner plans to keep the plant in Fremont open with the same number of employees.

The company filed for bankruptcy for the second time in November and sold its North American assets for $17.8 million in February to First Reserve Corp., the largest shareholder of Austin, Texas-based pump maker Dresser Wayne, a Tokheim competitor.The Fremont Tokheim plant was spared from closing after the company was purchased by Dresser Wayne. The plant is now called Dresser-Wayne, Tokheim Division.

After negotiations with town officials and Indiana Northeast Development, Dresser officials decided to keep the Fremont plant open with its existing work force, Fremont town manager Bob Hull said in a Fremont Town Council meeting Monday night. There are approximately 45 people employed at the Fremont facility.

Plant manager Anna Masters confirmed the company was staying open, but deferred comment to corporate headquarters, which was not available for comment early this morning.

Dresser Inc., headquartered in Dallas, Texas, is a privately held manufacturer and marketer of equipment and services sold primarily to customers in energy-related industries. Dresser purchased Tokheim after the company filed for bankruptcy late last year.

Tokheim's property in Fort Wayne was not included in the bid.

A telephone message seeking comment from the company was left Monday at the office of Tokheim president and CEO John S. Hamilton.

Joe Caccamo, president of United Auto Workers Local 1539, said he was notified of the closing by e-mail on Friday. He said the company scheduled a series of meetings with employees this afternoon to discuss insurance and retirement issues "and we'll all be terminated then."

"I would give anything I have if I had the ability to change the current circumstances we each must face, but I can't," Caccamo said in a letter to union members.

As of early January, Tokheim employed about 400 in Fort Wayne, but it began laying off workers after its announcement it would close the plant.

Founded in 1901 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Tokheim moved to Fort Wayne in 1918. During the late 1990s, after it acquired the French-based Sofitamin, Tokheim claimed the position of world's top manufacturer of service station equipment.

But the company's losses totaled $27.7 million in 1998 and $42.8 million in 1999, when sales slumped and its stock dipped by 50 percent. Tokheim lost its listing on the New York Stock Exchange in 2000, when it first filed for bankruptcy.

FORT WAYNE and FREMONT

The bankrupt Tokheim Corp., at one time the world's largest producer of gasoline pumps, is expected to close its Fort Wayne plant today.

But Tokheim's new owner plans to keep the plant in Fremont open with the same number of employees.

The company filed for bankruptcy for the second time in November and sold its North American assets for $17.8 million in February to First Reserve Corp., the largest shareholder of Austin, Texas-based pump maker Dresser Wayne, a Tokheim competitor.The Fremont Tokheim plant was spared from closing after the company was purchased by Dresser Wayne. The plant is now called Dresser-Wayne, Tokheim Division.

After negotiations with town officials and Indiana Northeast Development, Dresser officials decided to keep the Fremont plant open with its existing work force, Fremont town manager Bob Hull said in a Fremont Town Council meeting Monday night. There are approximately 45 people employed at the Fremont facility.

Plant manager Anna Masters confirmed the company was staying open, but deferred comment to corporate headquarters, which was not available for comment early this morning.

Dresser Inc., headquartered in Dallas, Texas, is a privately held manufacturer and marketer of equipment and services sold primarily to customers in energy-related industries. Dresser purchased Tokheim after the company filed for bankruptcy late last year.

Tokheim's property in Fort Wayne was not included in the bid.

A telephone message seeking comment from the company was left Monday at the office of Tokheim president and CEO John S. Hamilton.

Joe Caccamo, president of United Auto Workers Local 1539, said he was notified of the closing by e-mail on Friday. He said the company scheduled a series of meetings with employees this afternoon to discuss insurance and retirement issues "and we'll all be terminated then."

"I would give anything I have if I had the ability to change the current circumstances we each must face, but I can't," Caccamo said in a letter to union members.

As of early January, Tokheim employed about 400 in Fort Wayne, but it began laying off workers after its announcement it would close the plant.

Founded in 1901 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Tokheim moved to Fort Wayne in 1918. During the late 1990s, after it acquired the French-based Sofitamin, Tokheim claimed the position of world's top manufacturer of service station equipment.

But the company's losses totaled $27.7 million in 1998 and $42.8 million in 1999, when sales slumped and its stock dipped by 50 percent. Tokheim lost its listing on the New York Stock Exchange in 2000, when it first filed for bankruptcy.

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