CHAMBERSBURG -- Edge Rubber is selling its plant at 811 Progress Ave. and other assets to a startup rubber recycling company.
Bankruptcy court on May 11 approved the sale of Edge Rubber's real estate, truck trailers and personal and intellectual property for $4.1 million to EFG America LLC of Mesa, Arizona. Settlement has been extended to July 7.
"While we are in the process of closing on the acquisition, I am not at liberty to share information," said Don Carroll, EFG America vice president of investor relations.
EFG is using a process for "devulcanizing" rubber powder so it can be recycled into vehicle tires and other products, according to the companys website. Significant amounts of EFG's "Black Masterbatch" can be added to virgin material for making rubber products at lower cost.
The company is building a production plant in Bay City, Texas, and plans to build more, according to online accounts from CEO Elroy Fimrite.
"It is my understanding that the group does intend to operate the (local) facilities," said L. Michael Ross, president of the Franklin County Area Development Corp. "They do intend to restore operations. We are hopeful for clarity and direction" after the settlement.
Edge Rubber had employed more than 50 people making rubber powders from crumbs of old tires for use in making ties, hoses, coatings and brake pads.
Edge Rubber, known as Edge Pennsylvania and formerly Blackacre Properties LLC, sought to reorganize in November under bankruptcy court protection. US Bankruptcy Court, Pennsylvania Middle District, approved the plan, but the company ceased operations in May.
"Unfortunately they were not able to sustain themselves under the reorganization plan," Ross said.
In its initial filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Edge Rubber listed $8 million in debts -- $6 million of secured debt to Branch Banking and Trust Co., based in Winston-Salem, NC, and $2 million owed to about 20 unsecured creditors.
Even as it careened toward the bankruptcy filing, Oi was doing a poorer job of containing costs than its bigger rival. In the first quarter, Oi's total personnel expenses rose 11 percent from a year earlier to 657 million reais. The increase in personnel costs was due to an agreement with a labor union and the addition of a network-services business, which skews the comparison, according to Oi's press office. The company fired about 2,000 staff members in May, it said.
Marketing expenses nearly tripled to 88 million reais as the company introduced new branding, which included TV ads and promotional material sent to journalists. It also sponsored the surfing championship in Rio de Janeiro. Operating expenses as a whole in Brazil fell 1.2 percent year over year. Oi said its operational goals remain the same even with the bankruptcy protection filing.
At Vivo, the brand name used by Telefonica, operating costs fell about 9 percent over the same span. Personnel costs rose 4.5 percent from a year earlier to 920 million reais. While the company doesn't disclose marketing costs, it said expenses for third-party services fell about 5 percent "as a result of lower costs with call center services, sales promoters in retail stores and publicity and advertising."Messy Merger
In its heyday in 2012, Oi said it was planning to invest 6 billion reais a year and pay8 billion reais to shareholders through 2015, even as the company was already under pressure to improve its services amid high competition and tougher regulation -- between 2011 and 2012, Oi was fined 122 times. After a messy merger with Portugal Telecom, it tried -- and failed -- to buy larger competitor Tim Participacoes SA.
For some, the earmarked pay raise -- which is slightly below Brazilian inflation, and lower than the minimum wage increase of about 12 percent announced by the government in January -- is the least of the company's many troubles.
"It's a chronicle of a death foretold," said Mauro Cunha, the president of Brazil's minority-shareholders association. "The company's controllers became more and more complex over the years, always leveraging their bets on the back of public money and making decisions that were clearly not in the company's best interest. Oi's cash generation always went to the the controllers."
Bonds are trading near 16 cents on the dollar, while shares have fallen 99 percent from their peak in 2008.
The companythat was conceived in a megamerger less than a decade ago as one of Brazil's "national champions" never managed to expand its market share in the country's growing mobile-phone market beyond fourth place.
"Oi seems like a never-ending saga," Piedrahita said. "You had an over-leveraged entity with poor operational performance and in a recessionary environment -- then it was a matter a time."
Shares of Denver-based Triangle Petroleum Corp. continued to fall hard after its operating subsidiary Triangle USA Petroleum Corp. filed for bankruptcy protection earlier in the week.
Triangle Petroleum Corp. itself wasn’t included in the filing. But its shares have lost a third of their value the past two days, including a 12 percent hit on Friday. Triangle Petroleum shares, which traded around $12 a share two summers ago, ended trading Friday at 25 cents.
Triangle USA Petroleum focuses primarily on the Williston Basin in North Dakota and Montana, where less developed infrastructure and higher production costs have made drilling more challenging than in other big plays.Related Articles
Bloomberg reports that Triangle USA had $689 million in long-term debt, split between a $308 million revolving credit line and $381 million in senior unsecured notes carrying a 6.75 percent interest rate. The notes will be converted into equity, while talks are underway with bankers on the credit facility.
Triangle USA joins a growing list of Denver-based oil and gas producers who have sought relief in bankruptcy protection. They include Emerald Oil, Venoco, Craig Energy, Escalera Resources and American Eagle.
Oi, Brazils largest fixed-line phone carrier, and six subsidiaries filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday after Oi failed to win the support of key shareholders for a plan to restructure 65.4 billion reais ($19.3 billion) of debt.