Injection molder Champion Plastics Inc. closed its doors Sept. 28, ending its six-month bid to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
The Kettering, Ohio-based maker of consumer products had filed for protection from creditors in June 2001 after its primary customer, Newell Rubbermaid Inc., pulled the plug. When Champion reorganized in April, the company said it no longer would put all its faith in one main customer. Rubbermaid had accounted for about 80 percent of Champion's business.
But Champion went down that same path with another customer, juvenile-products company Dorel Industries Inc. of Westmount, Quebec. Dorel, Champion's only customer, told Champion in late June that it was yanking the business, Champion Chief Financial Officer Jack McLaren said Oct. 1.
The company tried in vain to find more customers, McLaren said.
``It was tough,'' McLaren said. ``When [potential customers] found out that Dorel had pulled all their work, they also pulled out of any [possible agreement].''
The company had no choice but to shutter the operation, McLaren said. About 140 workers were laid off. The 65,000-square-foot building is leased, as are most of its 18 injection presses, he said. The rest of the equipment will be auctioned off in November by Champion's largest creditor, Fifth Third Bancorp, he said.
The 7-year-old company was owned by Ernie Riley, who also served as president.