Industrial blow molder Best In Plastics Corp., also known as Bipco, unexpectedly shuttered its plant in Bolivar, Ohio, affecting roughly 90 workers.
The shutdown was forced by its bank, Sky Bank of Cleveland, Bipco's lawyer Anthony DeGirolamo said Dec. 15 by telephone.
``We've surrendered the collateral to the bank,'' he said. ``We had hoped to sell everything in an orderly fashion over time. It's not likely that's going to happen.''
Bipco did not own its facility. The bank took control of the equipment.
``It was definitely a surprise,'' said George Reymond, director of the Tuscarawas County Office of Community and Economic Development. ``There were customers that were surprised. There were people expecting to get paid today. I guess we're going to be in the dark until they choose to come forward and say something.''
Bipco is owned by Craig Godwin, who is also its president.
The firm did not file a layoff notice with the state of Ohio, Reymond said, and it did not seek assistance from state or local officials. Bipco had a 10-year tax abatement that expired at the end of 2003. Reymond said the firm was roughly $33,000 behind on its personal property taxes.
According to Bipco's Web site, the firm incorporated in 1981 as a custom blow molder producing parts from materials including thermoplastic elastomers, polyurethane, polyethylene and polypropylene.
The company in 2003 closed a satellite manufacturing facility in Gastonia, N.C., and sued the plant's one-time principal customer. Bipco set up that site in 1996 based on a 10-year supply agreement for the Homelite consumer products business of Deere & Co. Bipco consolidated that production into Bolivar.
According to Plastics News' ranking of North American blow molders, Bipco's estimated sales were $10 million with 12 machines.