Business briefs – July 19

French film company Technicolor announced the closure of its plant in Mirabel, Que., forcing the layoff of nearly 180 people.

Technicolor closes Quebec plant

MONTREAL — French film company Technicolor announced the closure of its plant in Mirabel, Que., forcing the layoff of nearly 180 people.

In a statement Monday, Technicolor said the growing importance of digital technology has forced the company to review its operations.

The Mirabel plant, north of Montreal, manufactured rolls of film used in movie making.

Employees were notified of the decision as the plant closed.

It’s not the first time the company has made such a move.

In 2010, it closed a plant in North Hollywood, Calif., and streamlined its European operations during the first phase of a plan to make its global operations more efficient.

As part of this second phase, Technicolor also announced subcontracting agreements with Deluxe for theatrical distribution and 35mm release print manufacturing in North America.

SEC gets asset freeze against three Swiss-based firms

WASHINGTON — A federal judge has frozen assets of three Swiss-based investment firms accused of profiting from trades based on inside information of a planned acquisition.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has accused the companies of making millions of dollars in trades on confidential information that Lonza Group planned to acquire Arch Chemicals Inc. for $1.2 billion. The trades were allegedly made ahead of the July 11 announcement of the acquisition.

The SEC said Monday that a judge had issued an order blocking Compania International Financiera SA, Coudree Capital Gestion SA and Chartwell Asset Management Services from access to funds. The judge also required that the money from the trades be returned to the United States.

Total liquidation of Borders Group seems likely

NEW YORK — Borders Group is edging closer to extinction after no new bids surfaced on Monday in an auction process for the bookstore chain other than the opening bid from two liquidation firms.

Borders Group, which helped pioneer the big-box bookseller concept and once operated more than 1,000 stores before shrinking to its current 400, last week assigned the opening bid in its auction process set for Tuesday to two liquidation firms, Hilco Merchant Resources and Gordon Brothers Group. The move came after a bid fell through from private-equity firm Najafi Cos. that could have kept the chain a going concern. Creditors and landlords said liquidation was a better deal.

If no other bids materialize, the auction will be cancelled and a final court approval hearing on the liquidators’ bid will be held Thursday.