Global Center Opens

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Prepared for the September 13, 2000 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper.

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Exide Comes to Princeton

As the point equidistant between Philadelphia and New

York, Princeton has acquired the corporate headquarters of Exide

Corp.,

the largest global manufacturer of lead acid automotive and industrial

batteries (www.exideworld.com). About 50 administrative employees

will move from Reading, Pennsylvania, to offices at a West Windsor

location; at press time the exact location was not available because

the contract had not been signed.

Exide’s CEO Robert A. Lutz, 68, a former vice chairman of Chrysler,

lives in Michigan and will retain his residence there. Ironically,

Exide is in the process of acquiring another battery company that

was headquartered in Princeton because of its CEO’s preferences. Until

1990 GNB Technologies had its CEO’s office in a small space on

Alexander

Road. That was because Stanley Gaines, GNB’s CEO, lived in Princeton

and preferred to keep his office here. Now GNB Technologies is based

in Atlanta and owned by an Australian firm, Pacific Dunlop.

After acquiring GNB, Exide will have $3.2 billion in annual revenues.

Last year that figure was $2.2 billion, but it lost $136 million,

and it is trying to get back into the black. Emptying the Reading

office will trigger layoffs there, though some workers will be moved

to Princeton and others to Atlanta or Chicago, where the automotive

and industrial battery divisions are located. Access to those cities

was another important factor in the choice of location, says Michael

Geylin, company spokesperson.

Other cost-cutting moves will be the closing of 11 North American

distribution facilities this month, which could save up to $2 million,

and saving $15 million annually on its racing sponsorships, while

retaining a long-time association with NASCAR. The company makes

batteries

for K-mart, Pep Boys, and the National Automotive Parts Association.

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Global Center Opens

Charles E. Hance, the new secretary of the New Jersey

Commerce and Economic Growth Commission, and Keld R. Hansen, the new

director of the Center for Global Business at Mercer County Community

College, will speak at a reception on Tuesday, September 19, at 4:30

p.m. at Drumthwacket, the governor’s official residence on Stockton

Street. The event marks the grand opening of the Center for Global

Business.

Hance will discuss future export trade policies for the state, and

Hansen will give an overview of international opportunities available

to New Jersey businesses. In addition to focusing on education for

small to medium-sized businesses, Hansen’s center will support

state-sponsored

trade missions, cooperate with the U.S. Trade and Development Agency

on reverse trade missions, and offer company-specific export advice

to individual businesses.

Admission to the opening at Drumthwacket is by invitation; call

609-586-4800,

extension 3639 or E-mail: hansenk@mccc.edu.


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