Most of the bag-making assets of Apple Plastics International Inc. could be sold as soon as Feb. 10, now that a judge has dismissed an involuntary bankruptcy case against the now-shuttered company.
An unspecified buyer has stepped forward, said Mike Joncich, estate manager for Burbank, Calif.-based CMA Business Credit Services. Apple assigned CMA to look for a buyer after the extruder defaulted on a bank loan in December.
Apple, based in Rancho Dominguez, Calif., was forced to close its four extrusion plants Jan. 27 by its largest creditor, Dallas-based lending firm Guaranty Business Credit Corp., Joncich said. The pending sale, the terms of which still must be decided, would mean reopening Apple's facilities in Rancho Dominguez and Spartanburg, S.C., and one of two plants in Paterson, N.J. That Paterson plant goes under the name Tiffany Extruders.
Another bag plant in Paterson, under the Power Plastics name, and the company's resin distribution firm, Quality Polymers of Los Angeles, would remain closed, Joncich said.
CMA is seeking a separate buyer for those sites.
Apple had about 120 employees at all of its facilities.
The company was forced into Chapter 7 bankruptcy Jan. 13 by three creditors who claimed the film extruder owed them more than $8 million. Five days before the filing, Apple had asked CMA to find a buyer for the company or sell off its assets.
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Newark, N.J., dismissed the case Jan. 31 and asked the creditors to negotiate with Apple. Negotiations were completed Feb. 2.
Apple is one of the largest makers of dry-cleaning bags in North America. Three sources familiar with the sale negotiations said a large bag-making rival may buy the company and was in final discussions the week of Feb. 3.
The sources intimated that Sigma Plastics Group of Lyndhurst, N.J., may be interested in Apple. The holding company owns several film and bag manufacturers. Sigma Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Alfred Teo could not be reached for comment.
Other garment-bag manufacturers include Ampac Plastics LLC of Cincinnati, Poly-Pak Industries of Melville, N.Y., Inteplast Group Ltd. of Livingston, N.J., and Command Packaging of Vernon, Calif.
An executive with Command Packaging said last week that his company is not buying Apple's assets, and an Ampac official said his company is not that familiar with Apple.
At its peak in 2001, under former owner Gary Duboff, Apple recorded close to $60 million in annual sales and had about 200 employees.