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TRUMBULL COUNTY Lawyers for Ajax and Inductotherm reach agreement



Published: Tue, August 6, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



THE VINDICATOR

YOUNGSTOWN

Court papers say Inductotherm rescinded its original tentative offer and reduced the offer by half.

By PEGGY SINKOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- A New Jersey company and its subsidiaries have agreed not to solicit any Ajax Magnethermic Corp. and Ajax Magnethermic Canada customers or employees.

Attorneys representing Ajax and legal counsel representing Inductotherm Industries Inc. and its subsidiaries entered into a written agreement Monday in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court.

The pact states that Inductotherm will not use confidential information it obtained from Ajax to solicit customers or employees.

The agreement also states that the agreement "does not constitute and should not be construed or used as an admission by any party of wrongdoing." Inductotherm also denies soliciting employees and using Ajax's confidential information, the agreement states.

Inductotherm also states that it returned all confidential documents to attorneys for Ajax.

The agreement was reached in the wake of Ajax's motion seeking a temporary protection order. The judge did grant a protective order Monday stating that the confidential information should only be released to legal counsel and court officials.

Another hearing has been set on that motion for Aug. 20 in the courtroom of Judge Andrew Logan of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court.

Interested in assets

Ajax attorneys wrote in the motion filed Friday for the protection order that in October Inductotherm contacted Ajax's officials about buying the companies' assets. At that time, Ajax entered into a confidential agreement with Inductotherm so that Inductotherm could evaluate the company, the motion states.

The motion further states that in May, Inductotherm officials assured Ajax that they were interested in buying Ajax's assets and entered into an exclusive arrangement that gave Inductotherm the exclusive rights to begin buying Ajax. A tentative offer was made at that time, the motion states.

In June, Inductotherm rescinded its original tentative offer and reduced the offer by about 50 percent, the motion states.

As a result of Inductotherm's offer, Ajax's management was forced to close Ajax's doors June 28, and the plant was temporarily shut down, the motion states. Ajax makes industrial equipment and had employed 145.

About three weeks later, the plant reopened after four former employees approached Park Ohio, a Cleveland manufacturing company, and were able to work out an agreement to reopen the company. About 50 employees were brought back to work, officials said.

Terms of that agreement have not been released. The motion also states that Inductotherm carried out "an even more overt plan" at the Canadian facility.

sinkovich@vindy.com




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