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Potential Buyer Eyes Closed Fulton Manufacturing Plant

By Steve Yablonski

Opened in 1871 as the home to The Morrill Press, the facility has operated under various owners — until earlier this year

Multi-Color Corp., an Ohio-based company that operated the plant formerly known as The Morrill Press in Fulton, shut down its operations earlier this year. 

However, the site at 6 Morrill Place might have a new occupant in the future.

There is a potential buyer for the facility, according to L. Michael Treadwell, executive director of Operation Oswego County. He didn’t disclose the name of the potential buyer.

“Our involvement has basically been providing some historic information that is needed to create the closing documents to sell the facility,” he said in early May.

“I remain optimistic with all that Fulton is doing to enhance quality of life, improve safety and support the business community that economic development opportunities will continue to present themselves,” Fulton Mayor Deana Michaels said.

Established in 1916, Multi-Color is one of the largest label companies in the world. It was one of several printing companies to occupy the Fulton plant that originally opened in 1871 as the Morrill Press. 

Kevin Miles, plant manager, said in a previous interview that the decision to cease operations in Fulton was made to consolidate the Fulton business into other operations, as part of “aligning our manufacturing capacity and capabilities.”

“The decision was in no way a reflection upon the performance of the plant or the employees,” he added.

The plant had 40 employees, 37 full-time and three part-time.

In February, Mayor Michaels said she had been in contact with the management team at MCC and shared support for those impacted. “When we learned in late 2021 of the closing, we jumped into action, connecting local manufacturers with the MCC management team to help the displaced workers find a new job,” she said.

The building itself is owned by Sonoco. The company relocated its operation to another location. They wound up leasing the facility to several different companies.

“Sonoco doesn’t have a need for that facility any more; they don’t want to be landlords,” Treadwell said. “So they put it on the market.”

The plant was sold to Sonoco Flexible Packaging in early 1990s and operated under that banner until December of 2003 when the company closed the Fulton plant.

Spear inherited Sonoco machinery and the workforce was educated on the latest pressure-sensitive technologies.

Constantia Flexibles Group, headquartered in Vienna, Austria, acquired Spear in April of 2013.

In November of 2017, Multi-Color completed the purchase of 23 of Constantia’s label operations, including Fulton’s. In July 2019, Platinum Equity acquired Multi-Color.

In July 2021, Platinum Equity announced the signing of a definitive agreement to sell Multi-Color to affiliates of Clayton, Dubilier and Rice.