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Potential Bayou Steel Buyer Says They Didn’t Get Any Respond From Owners

Steel News - Published on Wed, 09 Oct 2019

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Nola reported that a potential buyer of Bayou Steel, which declared bankruptcy last week with the loss of nearly 450 jobs in Louisiana and Tennessee, said he wants to move quickly to try and save the steelworks as a going concern but cannot get a meaningful response from the company's owners, Black Diamond Capital Management of Greenwich, Connecticut, or their representatives.

Last week, Bayou Steel's owners took employees, customers, creditors and parish politicians by surprise when they announced the closure of the 40 year old steel factory in LaPlace, Louisiana, where it employs 376. It also said it will close a rolling mill operation in Harriman, Tennessee, where it employs 72, and depots in Catoosa, Oklahoma; Leetsdale, Pennsylvania; and Chicago, Illinois. The company announced it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last Tuesday, saying in its filing that it owed up to USD 100 million to around 2,000 creditors, including local suppliers and service providers, and had less than USD 50,000 in liquid assets available.

Mr Jeff Sands, an investor who specializes in rescuing mid-sized companies near collapse, said he had tried contacting Black Diamond officials last week, including Stephen Deckoff, the firm's co-founder and managing principal, as well as the lawyer handling the bankruptcy, Christopher Ward from Polsinelli in Delaware.

Mr Sands said he is puzzled by the apparent lack of interest. He said that "This is how companies die quietly in America. No response from attorneys other than they will forward on my inquiry. Zero response from ownership or management."

Mr Sands, who grew up in Mandeville, where he ran the family flag-making business for 10 years until it shut just after Hurricane Katrina, has for the past 12 years specialized in turning around distressed businesses. His firms, Dorset Partners and American Industrial Acquisition Corp., have been recognized by The Turnaround Management Association, a national non-profit professional organization, in each of the last three years for saving Vermont Aerospace Manufacturing, Canadian Kraft Paper Industries, and Union Metal of Canton, Ohio, respectively.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Wed, 09 Oct 2019
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