Summit Plastic Solutions Inc., which will close if somebody doesn't buy it, shut its Florida factory last week, and now Summit's interim managers are talking to two potential buyers for the headquarters plant in Florence, Mass., said the company's top executive.
``We're in the final stages of negotiations with two separate entities that want to buy it. Both of them are negotiating frantically. We've been doing it all weekend,'' said Bill Brandt, interim chief executive officer of Summit Plastic Solutions.
In an Aug. 18 telephone interview, Brandt declined to identify the potential buyers.
Brandt also is CEO of Chicago-based Development Specialists Inc., a crisis management firm brought in by Summit's majority owner, Mesirow Private Equity Investments Inc. In July, Mesirow gave the DSI team 60 days to try to sell the company — which injection molds business machine housings, electronic parts and other products—or close it down.
Brandt said the possible buyers are two separate groups, one a local group from the Florence area and the other from the East Coast.
Summit's Florence operation, known as Pro Corp., claims to be the oldest continuously operating U.S. plastic injection molder, dating to the 1840s.
State and local politicians have waged a high-profile campaign to help find a buyer that would keep Pro open in Florence.
When Mesirow of Chicago shut off money to the debt-plagued company, Summit Plastic Solutions filed for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.
Brandt said the interim management wants to sell the firm.
``We told both sides, whichever offer comes in first that's most acceptable, we'll take it to the court.''
Summit ran two factories, the Pro plant in Massachusetts and Apogee Plastic Technologies Inc. in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Reflecting an earlier interim-management decision, Apogee already has closed, and the machinery will be liquidated, Brandt said. Summit leased that building.
``The Florida plant ran out the last of its inventory and work in progress,'' he said. Aug. 15 was the plant's last day of operation.
Brandt said that Terry Minnick is not involved in the local group negotiating to buy Summit. Minnick, who had owned Summit, brought in Mesirow as majority shareholder in 1994. But when Mesirow hired DSI to run Summit in July, Minnick was dismissed from the firm. He could not be reached for this story.