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Departing company to lay off 160 Katzenberg Brothers moving to Georgia, home of new owner

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Katzenberg Brothers Inc., an athletic wear manufacturer in Baltimore, said yesterday that it will lay off its entire staff of 160 employees in four weeks before it relocates its operations to Georgia.

The privately held manufacturer and marketer of customized sports apparel -- which has facilities near Television Hill -- will consolidate with its parent company, Hartwell Industries Inc., in Hartwell, Ga., said Bill Burdyck, Katzenberg's vice president of operations.

Katzenberg, which was founded in 1904, was acquired by Hartwell in November 1997.

Katzenberg's mesh shorts and tops are sold under the Merrygarden brand name and distributed to public school systems, sporting goods stores and recreational sports leagues.

The consolidation -- and the elimination of the 160 manufacturing jobs -- is part of Hartwell's cost-saving measures, said R. Stephen Lefler, Hartwell's chief executive.

The manufacturing facilities in Georgia are automated and year 2000 compliant while the ones in Baltimore are not, he said.

Hartwell Industries designs, manufacturers and embroiders a broad range of clothing for the uniform, specialty and sports markets under various brand names, including Hartwell Sports, Via Sport and Sea Palms.

Pub Date: 12/02/98

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