Kleer-Vu Industries Inc. renewed a licensing agreement, obtained interim funding and saw a shareholder's financing default cured. Recently, the maker of photo albums, frames and storage and protective devices has been searching for long-term capital, converting debt into equity and restructuring operations. In August, the Compton, Calif.-based firm renewed a license to manufacture and exclusively distribute Eastman Kodak Co.'s branded photograph albums in the United States and Canada until the end of 1997. The agreement extends a 1994 pact.
Investors made progress in meeting Kleer-Vu's obligations. Hee Poong Park, a principal shareholder and director, met a commitment to Elk International Corp. Ltd. and received back voting control of his collateral, about 30 percent of Kleer-Vu's stock.
Kleer-Vu said another major shareholder, Hardee Capital Partners LP of Santa Barbara, Calif., is near agreement on correcting a Dec. 15 default to MicroTel International Inc. and its principal stockholder, Elk International.
In transactions with lenders, Pacific Mezzanine Fund LP funded a $150,000 bridge loan that either will be converted into long-term funding or become due Sept. 30 and La Salle National Bank released about $350,000 under a credit facility.
``Management has a commitment to raise an additional $1.25 million but cannot assure that it will be able to raise it by Sept. 30 or that the indebtedness will be converted,'' said David Hardee, Kleer-Vu president and chief executive officer and Hardee Capital Partners principal.
Kleer-Vu lost $624,000 on sales of $5.7 million for the quarter ending June 30. The result improved on the comparable 1995 quarter's loss of $2 million on sales of $6.3 million.
For the 1996 quarter, album sales fell $570,000 and ProLine storage sales dropped $1,084,000, reflecting the loss of a significant custom-products-division customer and closing of the government division. The quarter included sales of $958,000 from two January 1996 acquisitions: The Channel Group Inc. and Style Frames Inc.
Kleer-Vu experienced a 30 percent increase last year in its expense for polypropylene, the primary plastic in its photo albums. While the hikes mirrored the worldwide shortage, prices declined in early 1996 and have stabilized, Hardee said.
Since December, Kleer-Vu has consolidated Brownsville, Tenn., and Mexicali, Mexico, manufacturing operations into facilities in Compton and Anaheim, Calif., and reduced corporate administrative expenses. From Oct. 31 to March 31, the company cut inventories from $12 million to $7 million and reduced long-term debt by $4 million.
Kleer-Vu employs 200, and markets products through mass merchants and department and specialty stores.
Hardee was a Washington law firm partner for eight years before embarking into the entrepreneurial world. Hardee Capital Partners began a series of investments in Kleer-Vu in September 1993. Beginning in mid-1994, he became a Kleer-Vu director and was co-chairman and president for various periods until being named to his current positions on June 26.