Thermoformer and sheet extruder Ameriform Group is putting together a restructuring plan to get it out of receivership.
The Muskegon, Mich., group has been working about two months on the plan with receiver DW Associates LLC of Grand Rapids, Mich. Ameriform President Daniel Harris said he did not know when the plan will be approved.
We have been working with DW Associates and now we're working with the banks on the restructuring plan, Harris said in a telephone interview.
Ameriform Group is comprised of three related firms in Muskegon: thermoformer and sheet extruder Ameriform Products Inc., plastic boat producer KL Industries Inc and portable toilet manufacturer Five Peaks Technology LLC.
Harris said Ameriform Products sells some of its output to the other two companies and the rest into markets for recreational vehicles, agricultural products and aftermarket auto components. Sheet sales also include vehicle systems such as truck bedliners, Harris said.
Ameriform Products runs two extrusion lines in a 24,000-square-foot plant and eight thermoforming machines at a 160,000-square-foot site in Muskegon.
Harris said the restructuring plan now includes the sale of Five Peaks to portable toilet producer Satellite Industries Inc. of Minneapolis. Officials will examine the other two businesses to see if they can be profitably restructured or if they should be sold.
The three firms employ about 65. Harris said he wants to hire an additional 40-50 employees to work at KL as the boat production season comes into full swing.
Huntington Bank is Ameriform's biggest creditor, owed about $25 million. The group's financial condition had deteriorated for two years and by Dec. 5 it could not pay a note due to the bank. As recently as 2006 Ameriform underwent an expansion.
Harris said one of the biggest problems leading up to the note default was a slowdown in the construction industry, the biggest market for Five Peaks' portable toilets.
The market fell out in 2007, Harris recalled. As well, the sluggish auto market hurt sheet sales for truck bedliners.
The Harris brothers own 44 percent of of Ameriform Products and KL Industries. Fifty percent of the two firms is owned by K.S. Plastic Consulting LLC, a company owned by Ken Smith. Reginald Adams owns 6 percent of Ameriform Products and KL. Smith and Adams own Five Peaks.