The Quantegy plant closing is the end of an era in American recording technology.
On Jan. 3, approximately 250 workers at Quantegy’s manufacturing plant in Opelika, AL, were told not to come back to work. “No trespassing” signs were posted on the plant’s doors. Security locks were changed, and the parking lot was empty. Quantegy’s plant was the last remaining manufacturer of professional analog recording tape and the only U.S. recording tape manufacturer. All 250-factory employees were laid off, with all sales and support personnel also affected. The company is believed to have had sales of about $30 million in 2004.
According to Larry Leuck, who runs Magnetic Media Services (MMIS), Quantegy has been placed into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, though Quantegy sources reportedly deny this. Leuck said there is strong speculation that if a buyer or buyers cannot be found in a reasonable period of time, the company’s assets will be liquidated. Equity Partners, an investment banking company that specializes in the sale of companies in financial difficulties, has reportedly been hired by Quantegy’s owners to work with parties with a possible interest in acquiring part or all of Quantegy.
Pro audiotape sales have declined precipitously in recent years as the industry migrates to hard drive-based audio recording. Quantegy was preceded in bankruptcy by EMTEC, which distributed the magnetic pro products of BASF. It dissolved in 2002 after filing bankruptcy.