Canada’s Barber Glass Industries Placed into Receivership
November 15, 2010

The Bank of Montreal has appointed Grant Thornton Limited as receiver and manager of Barber Glass Industries, including all of the company’s assets, according to documents USGNN.com™ has acquired from Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice.

Guelph, Ontario-based Barber Glass issued a press release saying, “the company has become victim to the ever increasing poor economic times. It is with great sadness that we announce our lenders have elected to place the company in receivership effective November 10, 2010.”

Barber had expanded in 2008 with a new plant in Collingwood and the press release cites some problems with equipment issues at that plant.

“A major equipment supplier to the new facility had problems in solving their equipment issues resulting in a delay in the start-up of commercial production for six months,” writes the company.

The release adds that the company had been working diligently to find financing solutions. “The company was close to an interim agreement with the support of its suppliers and customers but was unable to get its operating lender onside,” adds Barber.

According to the November 10 court order, the receiver is empowered and authorized to do any of the following: take possession of and exercise control over the property and any and all proceeds, receipts and disbursements arising out of or from the property; to manage, operate and carry on the business of the debtor, which may include ceasing to perform any contracts of the debtor; to receive and collect al monies and accounts now owed or heareafter owing toe the debtor; to sell, convey, transfer, lease or assign the property or any part or parts out of the ordinary course of business.

The court order says that all Barber employees shall remain employees “until such time as the receiver, on [Barber’s] behalf, may terminate the employment of such employees.”

The receiver may? be at liberty and is empowered to borrow by way of a revolving credit or otherwise, such monies from time to time as it may consider necessary or desirable provided that the outstanding principal amount does not exceed $1,000,000 Canadian dollars, according to court documents.

USGlass magazine visited Barber Glass’ Collingwood, Ontario, facility in November 2008.

The plant was the company’s newest facility and was opened as an addition to its existing plant located in Guelph, Ontario, approximately 80 miles away. The Collingwood plant is housed in a 270,000-square-foot building, in addition to 90 acres of land, which would allow for future expansion. At the time of our visit President John Barber talked about the large sizes of glass that was produced at that facility. He said Barber was one of the few companies in North America that could produce jumbo glass sizes, including glass 240-inches in size. The company invested millions in automated equipment for the plant. Additionally, Barber Glass was initially involved in development work for One World Trade Center, but ultimately did not get that contract.

Barber Glass has been in business for 127 years.

“The most difficult day of my life was standing in front of my employees to explain that the company had been placed in receivership. This, in spite of three years of significant efforts of the management team, tremendous support by our dedicated employees and local suppliers,” said John Barber, in the statement.

The website for Barber Glass is not currently operational and phone calls to the company go directly to voicemail.

Calls to Grant Thornton and representatives from Barber Glass had not been returned at press time.

Stay tuned to USGNN.com™ for further updates. To comment on the story, contact Tara Taffera at ttaffera@glass.com.

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