A Japanese trading company is buying National Pipe & Plastics Inc., which has dipped back into Chapter 11 bankruptcy to conduct the deal, according to the president of National Pipe. Nissho Iwai American Corp. wants to buy the Vestal, N.Y., pipe firm, said J. Allan McLean, president and chief executive officer of National Pipe. The company used to be called LCP National Plastics.
``Nissho Iwai's plans are they will operate the company with the current management in place,'' he said.
The new owners will continue production at both plants, in Vestal and Greensboro, N.C., he said.
McLean said Nissho Iwai is a large Japanese trading company based in New York. The parent, Nissho Iwai, is in Tokyo.
Officials of Nissho Iwai could not be reached for comment.
In 1991, the PVC pipe extruder - one of the largest in the eastern United States - filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Over the next two years, National Pipe & Plastics filed plans with the court in Trenton, N.J.
McLean said the pipe company did emerge from the initial bankruptcy. The first filing ``had been substantially consummated, therefore the company had to go back into Chapter 11 to get approval of the sale of its assets [to Nissho Iwai] because it was still operating under the original plan of reorganization,'' he said.
National Pipe made the new Chapter 11 filing Oct. 23, this time filing in Wilmington, Del. The judge has scheduled a Nov. 14 hearing on approving the sale.
McLean plans to remain with the firm.
``The pipe industry is very healthy right now. We have a very comfortable backlog, I think a lot of the producers do,'' McLean said. He added, ``Resin pricing is stable and probably will not go down, as it has done historically in the last quarter.''
National Pipe became employee-owned during its climb from the original Chapter 11 filing.
McLean also said the company has not yet conducted its plan to invest $2.5 million to boost output at both pipe factories. The plan was announced earlier this year.