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State saves 1,000 jobs at Okonite


A $38-million rescue plan to save the Okonite cable manufacturing company for New Jersey was announced yesterday by Gov. Brendan T. Bvrne.    

The plan, which includes a state loan of up ta $4 million, would allow Okonite to retain opeation of its four plants within the state, saving the jobs of 1,000 workers. The plants include one in North Brunswickwhich employs 360 workers.

Okonite, owned by the bankrupt Omega-Alpha, Inc. of Dallas, Texas, had previously announced plans to sell its stock to an employe-owned trust for $38 million, if the financing could be secured.

The plan described yesterday includes a $21-million line of credit from a banking syndicate headed by the Bank of America, a $13-million 25-year loan from the federal Economic Development Administration, and $4-million raised either through the sale of tax-exempt bonds by the state Economic Development Authority, or a direct loan from a financial institution with 50 per cent of the loan guaranteed by the state authority.

Okonite has agreed to pay the employes’ trust enough money each year to cover the principal and interest on the various loans, deducting the money as a business expense.

Byrne said the deal, which was the largest of its kind involving the state Economic Development Authority, prevented the sale of the four plants to other investors and the removal of the jobs from New Jersey.

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