By: Frank Antosiewicz
October 18, 2012
BOCA RATON, FLA. (Oct. 18, 1:25 p.m. ET) — Q.E.P. Co. Inc.. filed a bid to acquire substantially all the assets of Fairfield, Iowa-based Harper Brush Works Inc., a 112-year-old cleaning products company currently under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Q.E.P. said in a news release that it had executed an asset purchase agreement with Harper Brush to acquire the company’s real estate, inventory, intellectual property and other assets for approximately $2.2 million. The bid must first be approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the South District of Iowa and would serve as the opening bid on the company. The court can also accept other bids and proceedings are expected to be completed in the next 45 days.
Marc Ross, Chief Restructuring Officer at Harper Brush, said in an email statement that he was pleased with the prospects of the proposed sale and looks forward to the company thriving under new ownership. He said the sale would allow the company to “obtain the needed investment to continue manufacturing for many years.”
Harper Brush Works makes brushes, push brooms, mops, buckets, dust pans, housewares, long-handled cleaning tools, microfiber/dusting tools, and eco-friendly cleaning products.
Harper filed for Chapter 11 protection at the end of May. In a May 31 news release, it said that it had been adding production capacity since 2002 to meet customer needs. It said that it lost a significant customer in 2010, and that along with added debt from expansion, created financial challenges.
In May it said that it had 70 full-time employees with locations in Iowa and Greenville,N.C. The North Carolina plant is no longer operating.
Q.E.P., which was founded in 1979, is worldwide manufacturer, marketer and distributor of a line of hardwood flooring, flooring installation tools, adhesives and flooring related products. It serves both the professional installer as well as the do-it-yourselfer.