Keysor voluntarily files for Chapter 11
SAN FERNANDO, CALIF. - Keysor-Century Corp. has filed for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.
The Saugus, Calif.-based PVC resin manufacturer submitted a voluntary petition March 18 to U.S. Bankruptcy Court in San Fernando.
According to court documents, the firm owes nearly $3.7 million to its 20 largest unsecured creditors. In its filing, the firm estimates funds will be available to pay creditors. Court documents did not reveal exact assets, but provided a range of $10 million to $50 million, with the same range estimated for debt.
Keysor officials and their lawyers were not available for comment.
Industry insiders said the filing represents tough times faced by PVC suppliers during the shallow recession. According to numbers from the American Plastics Council in Arlington, Va., sales of domestic PVC resin were down 3 percent in 2001.
Additionally, sources noted California's reputation for strict regulations for chemical producers, especially PVC producers.
``We didn't anticipate it,'' David Axman, general manager of creditor Colorite Specialty Resins Inc. in Philadelphia, said of the bankruptcy. ``It's a difficult time for all producers.''
Keysor also has been plagued by other problems. In February, the FBI and environmental officials searched Keysor offices for evidence that the firm exposed workers to levels of vinyl chloride monomer beyond the legal limit.
In a separate investigation, California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health proposed $218,825 in fines against Keysor after its testing revealed worker exposure up to 22 times the legal limit.
Keysor produces PVC resins for the flooring and packaging markets in Saugus. The firm also operates a compounding facility in Newark, Del.
Barnes Group acquires Spectrum Plastics
ANSONIA, CONN. - Barnes Group Inc. plans to enter plastics injection molding with the acquisition of Spectrum Plastics Molding Resources Inc. of Ansonia.
Spectrum specializes in insert and reel-to-reel molding. Barnes said the business will complement its Associated Spring business, a producer of precision springs and other metal components. Barnes, based in Briston, Conn., expects to complete the deal by the end of June, according to Barnes spokesman Steve McKelvey. Terms might be disclosed when the deal is finalized, he added.
The deal will allow Associated Spring ``to become a single-source solution for plastic and metal components and assemblies,'' noted Leonard Carlucci, president of Associated Spring. Spectrum and Associated Spring have some common customers in electronics and other markets. Spectrum's other markets include telecommunications and medical.
Barnes President and Chief Executive Officer Edmund Carpenter said Spectrum's expertise in plastics engineering, tooling and molding are attractive. His company plans to retain Spectrum owner Pierre Dziubina and his 120 employees as part of Associated Spring's staff.
Spectrum, with annual sales of $20 million last year, will be Barnes' first plastics business.
The company's other divisions are Barnes Distribution, which distributes maintenance and operating supplies and engineered metal components, and aerospace parts and overhaul services supplier Barnes Aerospace. Barnes had total sales of $768.8 million in 2001.
Worthington won't name delinquent buyer
COLUMBUS, OHIO - Worthington Industries Inc. recently disclosed that a buyer of its former plastics business is having trouble making payments on the purchase. But the company did not identify which buyer was having difficulties.
Three companies bought pieces of the former Worthington Custom Plastics Inc.
Clifford Croley, Blackhawk Automotive Plastics Inc.'s president and chief executive officer, denied that his Salem, Ohio, company was having difficulty making payments.
``We have met our obligations,'' he said.
The other two firms could not be reached for comment: Morton Industrial Group Inc. of Harrisburg, N.C., which bought plants in North Carolina, South Carolina and Kentucky; and Nissen Chemitec Corp., which bought Worthington's share of their former joint venture, London Industries Inc. of London, Ohio.
Columbus-based Worthington said March 20 that buyers of three of its former businesses in 1998 each have ``encountered difficulty making scheduled payments.'' It said the businesses are Worthington Custom Plastics, Worthington Precision Metals Inc. and Buckeye Steel Castings Co.
Worthington Industries, a metals company, has taken a $21.2 million charge against earnings in its third quarter ``to cover potential losses'' from the above sales.