Files for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy; Echo Windows Details Emerge
Republic Windows & Doors filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief
on Friday, December 12, in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern
District of Illinois. In a statement released by Republic, the company
says the bankruptcy filing for liquidation was required by its lender,
Bank of America, in the negotiated settlement with the United Electrical,
Radio and Machine Workers of America.
"What happened to Republic is a microcosm of what is happening
to many large and small businesses," says Republic chief executive
officer Rich Gillman. "In our case, declining home sales, the
credit debacle, [and] the lack of cooperation from Bank of America
led to the measures taken today."
According to court documents, the company has between $1 and $10
million in assets and between $10 and $50 million in liabilities.
Specifics were not provided in the initial filing.
Among the industry creditors on the list are the American Architectural
Manufacturers Association, Amesbury Group, Aqua Surtech OEM, Ashland
Products Co., Associated Laboratories, Bostik Findley Inc., C.R.
Laurence Co. Inc., Caldwell Manufacturing Co., Cardinal CG and Cardinal
FG, Century Hardware, Custom Window Extrusions Inc., DAPA Products,
Deco Products Co., Edgetech IG, Erdman Automation Corp., Fasco Hardware,
Glaston America, Grafco, Guardian Industries Corp., Intermac Inc.,
Jordan, Knauff & Co., Joseph Machine Co., LCS Precision Molding,
Oldcastle Glass, Pistorius Machine Co., Preferred Engineering Products,
Ramapo, Ritescreen Co., Roto Hardware Systems Inc., Southwall Technologies,
Spectra Gases, Sturtz Machinery, Truth Hardware, Urban Machinery,
Veka, Ventana USA, Venture Tape Corp., and Vision Industries Group.
(The list, spanning 45 pages, included non-industry related groups
such as the Bellagio Hotel and the Internal Revenue Service.) Amounts
owed had not been disclosed at press time.
The law firm of Shaw, Gussis, Fishman, Glantz, Wolfson & Towbin
LLC has been retained as general bankruptcy counsel.
A meeting of the creditors is scheduled for January 26 in Chicago.
Meanwhile, more details have emerged about Echo Windows, a company
which Gillman incorporated on November 18-two weeks before the Republic
closing. TRACO had announced on December 4-one day after Republic
had announced it was closing-that it had sold its residential windows
business in Red Oak, Iowa, to then-unknown Echo Windows.
One dealer, a previous Republic customer, told USGNN.com,
"It [Republic's closing] hasn't impacted our business as we
are still doing business with them [Republic]." The dealer,
who wished to remain anonymous, then confirmed that they had switched
their window business from Republic to Echo.
When USGNN.com called the Red Oak facility an unidentified representative
said, "We have no comment at this time."
Local papers have reported that business is definitely up at the
Iowa plant, though, where a second shift has been re-instated and
plant officials are even considering new hires.
HERE for that article).
Back in Chicago, some Republic workers are still holding out hope
that the company will come under new ownership. UE director of organization
Bob Kingsley announced during a National Union press conference
following the settlement that the group has formed a foundation
called "The Window of Opportunity Fund," which will be
dedicated to re-opening the plant. It will be started with funds
from the UE national union and the donations to the local UE that
resulted from the workers' occupation of the Republic plant.
In other news, it was reported in the Chicago Sun Times that Gillman
and a Republic adviser said that prior to the Echo purchase, Republic
had investors lined up to pay cash for the assets of Orrville, Ohio-based
American Weather Seal (AWS). AWS reportedly had $15 million in annual
sales, which, combined with Republic, would have boosted the latter
company's sales to roughly $55 million and would have allowed it
to turn a roughly $3.5 million profit, said Gillman and his adviser,
according to the article. But Bank of America, which also was a
lender to AWS, decided instead to liquidate the company, according
to the article. (CLICK
HERE for full bankruptcy filing.
HERE for information about January 26 creditor meeting.
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