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Southern Film Extruders files for Chapter 11 protection

By: Frank Esposito

August 30, 2013

Polyethylene film manufacturer Southern Film Extruders Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Aug. 4 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in North Carolina.

The High Point, N.C.-based firm made the filing 10 days after creditors had filed an involuntary Chapter 7 filing against Southern. The Chapter 7 filing would have required a liquidation. A Chapter 11 filing will allow the firm to continue to operate and reorganize.

Officials with Southern could not be reached for comment. A report in the Business Journal in Greensboro, N.C., said the firm could be sold at auction later this year.

Southern listed assets of $10 million to $50 million and debts of $1 million to $10 million in the Chapter 11 filing.

The Chapter 7 filing was made by resin suppliers Westlake Polymers LLC., ExxonMobil Chemical Co. and ChevronPhillips Chemical Co. Southern owes Westlake almost $5 million, while owing ExxonMobil more than $900,000 and ChevronPhillips more than $600,000, according to court records.

Southern ranked 72nd in Plastics News’ most recent ranking of North American Film & Sheet makers. The firm posted sales of $70 million 2012, flat vs. the prior year. Southern employs 175 at two plants in High Point, making polyethylene film for food packaging, agricultural, consumer products and other markets.

Southern operates 26 extrusion lines and consumes almost 90 million pounds of PE per year. The firm previously operated a plant in Fort Pierce, Fla., but closed that site in 2005.