Beleagured film extruder Plassein International Corp. has closed its two Martin, Mich., facilities while it works on a possible deal to sell the operations.
The Willington, Conn., company shuttered the two Michigan locations May 28 and laid off about 104 employees, according to a May 30 filing at U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del. A skeleton crew of about 15 workers remains at the plants to finish several jobs totaling about $1.5 million, the filing said.
Meanwhile, the company continues to work with unspecified outside buyers to take control of the automotive industry-related packaging facilities, said Plassein President and Chief Executive Officer Bud Philbrook on June 3. It is possible that the plants could be reopened, he said.
The larger of the two plants, known as Marshall Plastic Film Inc. before its purchase in early 2000, extrudes specialty film and sheet products. The second facility, formerly owned by Plastical Industries Inc., distributes automotive film packaging.
A newspaper report from the Penasee, Mich., Globe said that Marshall Plastics founder Marshall Forsberg was among those negotiating to buy the facilities. Philbrook did not confirm the identities of possible buyers, and Forsberg could not be reached.
Plassein filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection May 14 and is seeking to sell its seven plants. Spartanburg, S.C.-based Exopack LLC, a maker of film and paper packaging, has agreed to buy four facilities. Extruder EuroPackaging plc of Birmingham, England, has placed the highest bid for Plassein's Salem, N.H., plant, Philbrook said.
Other bidders still can make counter offers for the Salem plant, Philbrook said. According to court documents, New York-based Pensler Capital Corp., a $300 million buyout firm with investments in plastics companies, also is interested in the plant.
Plassein projected losses of $565,000 to keep the Martin plants open during the sale process and opted instead to close the facilities, according to court documents.
The firm also is seeking $12 million in bank financing to keep its other facilities open during negotiations. As of May 14, the company owed close to $135 million to an outside bank group and other creditors.
Plassein recorded sales of $146 million last year.