Dash Multi-Corp. has purchased the assets of bankrupt Urethane Technologies Inc. for $600,000 and will sell a portion of the holdings to Hess Polyurethanes Inc.
A California federal bankruptcy court on May 30 approved the purchase, which is slated for completion in early June. The deal includes all holdings of UTI's operating division, Polymer Development Laboratories Inc., including production units, equipment, technologies, patents and customer lists.
UTI's unsecured creditors in early March forced the Orange, Calif.-based polyurethane systems maker into Chapter 7 involuntary liquidation.
Headquartered in Atlanta, Hess currently uses PDL equipment and leases a PDL plant. Hess, which employs about 25, expects to continue operations and acquire the Georgia assets from Dash in June, said Hess lawyer Gary Miller.
PU systems maker Hess also expects to buy about four PDL product technologies, Miller said.
He declined to reveal the cost of the tentative deal.
Hess previously had been concerned that UTI's bankruptcy could disrupt the small firm's business. Although the company wanted to remain in the Atlanta factory, Hess had made arrangements to move if necessary.
``But now everything looks good,'' Miller said. ``Hess is making arrangements to buy the plant'' from St. Louis-based Creative Management Service Inc.
Dash will continue PDL's product line under its MarChem Corp. subsidiary, said Robert Cunningham, Dash vice president of corporate development.
The operation makes PU and PVC systems for the construction, automotive and transportation markets.
MarChem Pacific, based in Anaheim, Calif., will occupy PDL's Orange facility, he said.
With nine operating divisions, miniconglomerate Dash posts annual sales in excess of $130 million.
In addition to PU products, the St. Louis-based firm makes plastic raw materials, coated fabrics and flooring products.
UTI, which suffered financial trouble for years, was founded as a PU bike tire maker, Captive Air Inc., by Richard Steinke.
Steinke left the firm in 1991 and recently started a spinoff PU tire firm — American Tire Corp. — in Ravenna, Ohio.
In other news, same-name Denham Springs, La.-based Urethane Technologies Inc. has received several calls from vendors confusing the company with the bankrupt California PU systems firm of the same name.
``People call us up and say, `We heard you went bankrupt.' We've had to convince them we're not the same company,'' said C.R. Dunbar, who is president and general manager for the Louisiana company.
Established in 1984, the Louisiana-based UTI makes buoys, marine fenders and other marine products at its small Southern production plant.
``We are in no way affiliated with [the California-based UTI],'' Dunbar said.
The official isn't sure how the two companies came to share the same moniker.
The buoy maker first became aware of the situation several years ago.
``I wrote [Orange-based] UTI a letter, but I never heard from them,'' he said.
It isn't clear how the coincidence has affected the Louisiana firm's business.
``Who knows how many customers have been turned away?'' Dunbar said.