Newpark Resources Inc. plans to buy the majority owner of Loma Co., ending a legal wrangle for operation of the plastic road-mat company.
Publicly held Newpark, based in Metairie, La., will pay $1.3 million in cash to buy OLS Consulting Services Inc. of Carencro, La. OLS holds a 51 percent interest in Loma; Newpark already owns the rest. Newpark's primary business is to provide services to oil-field and commercial markets.
The deal gives Newpark control of patents licensed to Loma for production of the injection molded road mats, used to access remote oil and gas fields. Newpark officials plan to continue making mats from Loma's Carencro plant, said Frank Buck, president of Newpark subsidiary Composite Mat Solutions LLC of Lafayette, La., in a news release.
Newpark officials did not want to comment further until after the agreement is to be signed by a bankruptcy judge April 18. Newpark will take control of Loma a day later and excise the company from Chapter 11 protection from creditors, a Newpark executive said.
In August, Loma filed for Chapter 11 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Lafayette. The company, run by Loma President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Seaux, had claimed that Newpark's Soloco LLC unit had overcharged for use of the polyethylene mats, but a judge found in favor of Newpark.
Loma filed for protection to gain time to appeal the judgment. Seaux, an oil-field consultant, also owns OLS Consulting. He was unavailable for comment.