New York City-based International Flavors & Fragrances (NYSE:IFF) is closing a factory south of the Mason-Dixon.

On Friday, the $6.4 billion company announced that it will shutter its Fragrances Ingredients plant in Augusta, Ga. by July 2014, and consolidate production into other IFF factories.

IFF characterized the plan as "supporting the company's objective to ensure operations are cost-efficient and competitive." Nicolas Mirzayantz, IFF Fragrances Group President, explained that: "With a changing competitive environment, we have decided to streamline those parts of our business that support lower value-added, commodity-like ingredients and remain focused on those areas that are more value-enhancing."

Senior Vice President for Fragrance Ingredients Rob Edelman added that "we do not make decisions such as this lightly. We value our employees and will do everything possible to treat them with fairness and sensitivity."

IFF employs 54 people at the plant in Augusta, according to government figures. The company did not disclose what severance plans it has for these employees, nor say what financial effect it expects the move to have on this year's profits. IFF shares closed 1.5% higher in Friday trading, at $77.94.

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