By Nathan Straus

nstraus@jacksonvilleprogress.com



Snoke Special Products officials still estimate a closing date of late December to early January. The company, which manufactures copper components for Carrier Corp. in Tyler, announced it would close in mid-October.

Snoke Plant Manager Jerry Morris said the announcement came to plant employees after Carrier, an air conditioning company, transferred roughly a third of its copper component business to Mexico. The economic downturn, he added, has also been a factor.

“We’re working with Carrier, and Carrier is working with other companies to try and buy us,” Morris said. He said he could not reveal any pricing specifics or details on who is considering purchasing Snoke.

The month of November has seen several meetings between Snoke representatives and the Carrier company, Morris said. He said he could not reveal the details of the meetings, but noted the last meeting was around the third week of November.

“There are no further meetings scheduled at this time,” Morris said.

Because Snoke is the only company which provides Carrier with copper components on a daily basis, to Morris’ knowledge, Snoke’s closing would mean the loss of about 66 percent of Carrier’s copper component supply and all of its daily copper component supply.

“Nothing has really changed,” Morris said of the original closing date estimate. “It’s a roll of the dice. We’re all hopeful it’ll work out, but there are a lot of things up in the air.”

Morris said if the economy recovers, Snoke will see an improved chance of keeping jobs and possibly getting more.

“The employees are frustrated,” he said. “They want an answer. We’re going to do all we can to keep the doors open.”

Snoke’s primary concern, Morris said, is to keep operating as long as possible to help its faithful employees who may be out of a job by New Year’s Day.

Currently the company is on standby for word from companies interested in buying Snoke, Morris added.

Snoke was started in 1969 with a focus on automotive parts. It eventually started a partnership with Carrier, and this partnership grew to its current status as a copper component supplier.

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