updated 9/14/2005 3:44:44 PM ET 2005-09-14T19:44:44

Procter & Gamble Co. said Wednesday it will soon restore some operations to its hurricane-damaged Folgers coffee plant in New Orleans, but warned of possible temporary shortages on some store shelves.

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P&G said workers have restored power and phone lines and are repairing equipment at the Folgers plant damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

The plant will have 150 trailers for temporary housing of employees, who will also receive free meals. There are some 50 employees and 50 contractors working at the Folgers plant; the company’s usual New Orleans work force is about 550 employees.

The company said the first boat to enter the Port of New Orleans when it reopened Tuesday included a shipment of Folgers coffee.

P&G has notified retailers of possible supply restrictions because of hurricane damage to several of its coffee production and storage facilities. There could be shortages of Folgers and Millstone coffee, or they may appear in different packaging, the company said.

P&G said it’s still assessing Katrina’s overall financial impact and plans an update by Sept. 20.

In a separate announcement, the consumer products company reported the sale of its SpinBrush electric toothbrush business, as it agreed to earlier for European regulatory approval of its $57 billion acquisition of Gillette Co.

P&G is selling SpinBrush to Church & Dwight Co., owner of several toothpaste brands, for at least $75 million, with P&G able to collect up to $30 million more depending on SpinBrush’s financial results.

The company had agreed to sell the business because of overlap with Gillette oral care products in the European market.

Meanwhile, the company said Tuesday it still expects its deal for Boston-based Gillette to close this fall.

The company said discussions are continuing with the Federal Trade Commission, the only remaining regulatory hurdle to the acquisition.

P&G spokesman Sean Parker said the company doesn’t comment on potential transactions, but said a sale of one or more other products is possible.

Church & Dwight, based in Princeton, N.J., owns toothpaste brands including Mentadent, Close-up and Pepsodent, along with Arm & Hammer baking soda, and makes a tooth polish called Pearl Drops primarily sold in Europe.

It expects to close the SpinBrush deal by the end of December. Church & Dwight said the unit posted $110 million in sales for the fiscal year ended June 30, about 80 percent of it the United States and Canada.

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