UPDATE 1-Dorel to close plant, lay off 170 employees

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TORONTO, May 17 (Reuters) - Furniture manufacturer Dorel Industries Inc. DIIb.TODIIa.TO said on Thursday it will close its Dowagiac, Michigan, plant and lay off 170 workers as the company seeks to straighten up its troubled ready-to-assemble furniture business.

Montreal-based Dorel, whose products also include bicyles and Safety 1st children’s products, said the closure will result in a pretax restructuring charge of about $11 million, of which about $9 million will be a noncash charge representing the writedown of building, equipment and other assets.

“It has been an uphill battle for the entire ready-to-assemble furniture industry,” President and Chief Executive Martin Schwartz said in a statement.

The company said the closure will help boost the turnaround of its Ameriwood division, which markets ready-to-assemble furniture products under the Ameriwood, Carina, SystemBuild, Altra Furniture and Ridgewood brands.

Class B shares of Dorel were up 11 Canadian cents, or 0.3 percent, at C$35.41 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Thursday morning.

$1=$1.10 Canadian