MIDDLETON, England. (Jan. 21, 2009)—Foam maker the Vita Group has cut 10 percent of its workforce in northwest England and laid off an undisclosed number of workers at other sites in the United Kingdom as it struggles to service its debt.
Orders for polyurethane foam are low and economic conditions continue to be poor in Vita's traditional end markets in automotive, furniture, bedding and construction, said a Vita spokesperson. The fact consumers aren't buying cars, furniture and refrigerators has hurt its business, he said.
Owned by U.S. private equity group TPG Ltd., Vita has reached a deal with its lenders, valid until March, to avoid breaching covenants on its debt. Vita's debt is listed at $856 million.