Friedman Bag Co. Inc. is reoganizing after filing for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.
The firm listed assets of $25.9 million with debts of $14.3 million in the March 26 filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Los Angeles. Friedman named 299 creditors.
Los Angeles-based Friedman makes flexible plain and printed containers of polyethylene and mesh, mostly for agricultural applications, and produces PE film.
``We are upbeat on our plan to focus on manufacturing,'' rather than resale products, David Friedman, vice president of operations, said by telephone.
The reorganization calls for geographic and product diversification. ``We are looking at being more involved for markets in other food products such as breads and tortillas and PE packaging for manufacturing industries,'' Friedman said.
The firm has reduced its resale of low-margin domestic and imported products such as multiwall paper bags, burlap sacks and polypropylene containers. ``We stored those in our warehouse, but it did not make sense anymore,'' he said. Handling costs precipitated ``a cash crunch.''
Friedman Bag is finding renters for former manufacturing and warehousing sites in Oregon and Idaho, but retains sales representation throughout northern California and the Pacific Northwest. The firm employs 100, mostly in Los Angeles. In the past two years, it has aligned itself with distributors in the Midwest and East.
The family-owned firm was established in 1927. It established a plastics division in 1956 and has extrusion, printing and converting capabilities.
In early 1999 and after extended negotiations, about 30 descendant-partners sold their shares to the company's managing owners, who took on bank debt to complete the deal.