With a new owner and leaner structure, Polycel Structural Foam Inc. is shaking off the effects of Chapter 11 bankruptcy and trying to rebuild the business.
Kurt Joerger, owner of Newton Tool & Manufacturing Co. of Swedesboro, N.J., bought two of Polycel's plants, in Somerville, N.J., along with the company name.
``Since January, we've re-established our credit with all our suppliers and we've gotten back our focus. A lot of our core customers stuck with us,'' said Tom Horwath, sales and marketing manager.
The rest of the old Polycel, now known as Polycel Liquidation Inc., remains in Chapter 11.
The former company ran into trouble in November 2000 when three creditors petitioned U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Lexington, Ky., to force the firm into involuntary Chapter 7 liquidation. Later that year the court allowed the company to convert the case to a voluntary Chapter 11 reorganization and transfer it to Trenton, N.J. That court approved a reorganization plan in March of this year.
Confusion over the business takes a lot of explaining, Horwath said. The firm has changed its logo and Web site and sent letters of explanation to its customers.
The new management team is headed by President Otto del Prado. Managers insituted a new quote and cost structure, and the company is evaluating the need for future capital improvements. The company forecasts 2002 sales of about $15 million.
The company recently added a 750-ton Wilmington structural foam press. Polycel now has 21 machines, with clamping forces of 100-750 tons, and 175 employees running shifts around the clock. About 95 percent of the business is in structural foam molding, and the company also offers product and mold design.
Polycel serves the automotive, medical, telecommunications, business equipment, recreation and materials-handling markets.
``What we are trying to do is re-establish our old sales representatives and also get new reps to expand our turf,'' Horwath said.