U.S. Plastic Lumber Corp. has been reborn as Trimax Building Products Inc. after a troubled bankruptcy.
U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Palm Beach, Fla., approved the sale Jan. 6 to private equity firm American Pacific Financial Corp. of San Bernardino, Calif. Creditors Siemens Financial Services Inc. and CIT Group/Equipment Finance Inc., which had claims on USPL equipment, opposed the sale. Trimax will operate as a private company, according to a Jan. 12 news release.
American Pacific business unit Ampac Capital Solutions LLC was USPL's debtor-in-possession lender. American Pacific acquired USPL by paying $2.3 million in cash and releasing $3.2 million from its debtor-in-possession loan. It also agreed to assume liabilities totaling $582,000.
Nathan Kalenich, Trimax vice president of sales, said the new firm will continue a strategy begun at USPL that will focus on high density polyethylene products made from recycled resin. USPL began backing out of wood-plastic composites in late 2004.
The new company's product lines will be Trimax decking and structural lumber, and Recycle Design high-end plastic and aluminum benches and other site amenities, Kalenich said in a Jan. 13 telephone interview from Trimax's Chicago headquarters and plant.
Trimax has ``a unique place in the alternative wood marketplace,'' he said in a news release.
Kalenich would not comment on Trimax's new management, explaining that Trimax will announce such appointments at a later date.
USPL told the court it had exhausted all available financing options before asking the court on Dec. 20 for an emergency order to sell the business. While it was in bankruptcy, USPL was trying to line up funds to reorganize and to buy the land on which its Chicago plant is located.
USPL seemed destined for relief in September when Skiritai Capital LLC of San Francisco said it would invest at least $4 million in USPL in return for 32 percent of the company. USPL filed a reorganization plan, but before a confirmation hearing could occur, USPL Chief Executive Officer Bruce Disbrow accepted an offer at another company. His departure eventually led to Skiritai taking its offer off the table. Another potential loan to buy the Chicago property also did not materialize, according to court documents.
USPL filed for Chapter 11 protection July 23, 2004, in Palm Beach. At the time it listed $78.6 million in assets and $48 million in debt. Industry sources said the company had tried to grow too fast, making 16 acquisitions in less than three years, some of them not in its core business of recycling plastics into lumber.
Among its efforts to reorganize was the sale of its Ocala, Fla., extrusion plant to Lees Development Corp. in early 2005. USPL's products included structural lumber, HDPE decking and railing, truck scuff, and spa and sauna siding.