A bank plans to liquidate the assets of a Knoxville, Tenn., custom injection molder in an auction Jan. 31.
``We fell on rough times,'' Rick Owens, president of Lighthouse Plastics Inc., said in a telephone interview.
The business began operating in April 2000 and closed in July. During its 12 busiest months, Lighthouse generated sales of about $750,000 and employed as many as 65.
In late spring, a major Lighthouse customer for furniture legs, recliner handles and trim parts severely cut orders, crippling the molder.
``We were hopeful to get new contracts, but the economy was slowing down,'' he said. ``Companies were afraid to invest capital. The last couple [prospects] put us off to the end of the year, but we didn't have the money.''
The assets include 12 injection presses with 60-450 tons of clamping force, and a range of auxiliary equipment.
Eight owners of the corporation included Owens, a former plant manager and six passive investors.
Property liquidator Furrow Auction Co. of Knoxville will conduct the sale at the plant, said Matt Roach, auctioneer and project manager for Furrow. Furrow represents the Knoxville commercial lending office of secured creditor Union Planters Bank.
Lighthouse has avoided the need to file for bankruptcy. Lighthouse achieved ``a peaceful release of assets'' to Union Planters, which ``chose not to foreclose on us,'' Owens said. ``We have issues with smaller suppliers and are hoping to resolve them.''