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IBI terminates operations; building for sale

Loss of business and a down economy have resulted in the closure of IBI, a manufacturer of electrical wire harness for Arctic Cat snowmobiles and other customers.

IBI, located in a 25,000-square-foot building at 1219 Naylor Drive S.E. in the Bemidji Industrial Park, is owned by Fargo Assembly Co. headquartered in Fargo, N.D.

Herb Siemens, senior vice president at Fargo Assembly, said in a telephone interview that about 10 people lost their jobs when the Bemidji subsidiary shut its doors.

"The operation had lost some business over the years since we took over," Siemens said. "We just had way too much building for that number of people."

At one time during Fargo Assembly ownership, he said, IBI employed about 60 workers.

He said Fargo Assembly tried to keep the Bemidji operation going by transferring some business from the company's North Dakota sites.

Established in 1975, Fargo Assembly includes seven plants in North Dakota, four in Pennsylvania and one each in Mississippi, Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota, England and Thailand.

Siemens said Fargo Assembly bought IBI in 2005. The building is now for sale. He said some of the equipment will be sold, and some will be transferred to other sites.

Siemens said closing the Bemidji operations is unfortunate, and something the company managers didn't foresee when they bought IBI.

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