CIE to buy VF plant

Published 11:19 am Wednesday, April 24, 2002

By By Brian Blackley, Publisher
Creek Indian Enterprises will be the new owner of the building after Vanity Fair and CIE officials negotiated the sale at what is reported to be a price well-below the appraised value of the building. Though the sale is not final at this point, negotiations have been completed and officials say deed transfers and legal work are the only things left to handle to make the sale final.
The facility may be the home for a portion of Muskogee Metal Works' technology business.
Poarch Creek Indian Tribal Council member Tim Ramer, project manager of Muskogee Metal Works, says the facility may also be used to house "wire and harness" manufacturing that MMW does, though, he said nothing is definite.
According to McGhee, the facility will help Muskogee Metal Works and its partnership with a Fort Walton Beach electronics company, Manufacturing Technology, Inc., grow.
MMW and Manufacturing Technology partnered and submitted a proposal to produce items for the U.S. Army Simulation and Training Command which was recently awarded in the form of a $47 million contract over five years.
According to McGhee, the new facility will allow the fledgling partnership room for growth as it seeks to take on more projects.
Neither Vanity Fair nor Muskogee Metal Works officials would comment on the exact cost of the building, but both sides said the building was priced to buy.
According to McGhee, Vanity Fair's offer was extremely reasonable.
According to Fountain, the paperwork will take a couple of weeks to go through and his company is in the process of packing up the facility and removing equipment.
McGhee said the involvement of Creek Indian Enterprises will be beneficial thanks to a recent "big push for Native American products."
According to McGhee, many developers are seeking to purchase products from minority-operated companies and this puts MMW and MTI in a good position to meet market demand, and the acquisition of the building will allow future expansion.
Muskogee Metal Works manufactures metal components for different machines and products including clamps and other specialized items for customers like the Southern Companies, owner of several power companies in the Southeast. The partnership, MTI, takes advantage of Manufacturing Technology's work in high-end computerized technology and MMW's experience in metal and merges those strengths into one company that can build sophisticated machinery. MMW currently employs 16 people.
The $47 million contract that was announced Thursday, April 11, was made possible through the United States Department of Defense's budget. The Small Business Administration also worked to help bring the contract to Escambia County.
MMW is a subsidiary of Poarch Creek Enterprises.
McGhee was reluctant to speculate what the future holds, but he said he believes that more contracts are possible and with more contracts being obtained, there comes a need for additional labor.