Florida Extruders International files for bankruptcy ahead of anticipated sale
One-time manufacturer of Milestone Windows, Florida Extruders International Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida last week. In court papers, the company said it plans to submit a plan to sell off substantially all its assets to the highest bidder, according to a May 3 Window & Door report.
Based in Sanford, Fla., FEI started in 1989 as a vertically-integrated manufacturer and distributor of extruded aluminum products. Its line included pool and patio enclosure extrusions sold to stocking distributors and specialty contractors; proprietary aluminum shapes; and standard architectural and structural shapes. It entered the window business in 1995, building a 200,000-square-foot facility on 10 acres for window production and additional warehousing capacity. It eventually became the second largest manufacturer of these products in Florida with window sales of about $78 milliion in 2005, it reports.
The company had as many as 1,000 employees and total sales at FEI peaked that year at $124 million, according to the court filing. Declines in the Florida housing market resulting in significantly reduced sales since that time. In response, the company closed nine distribution operations by December 2009 and most recently closed its Milestone window business this past February.
With 2010 total sales reported to be about $30 million, FEI cites not only deteriorating market conditions for its decreasing sales, but also Chinese extrusion imports and changes in energy codes favoring vinyl products.
In cooperation with Wells Fargo Bank, its largest secured creditor, FEI "will quickly submit a liquidating plan to sell all or substantially all of its assets to the highest bidder," the filing states. The company "believes this sale will ultimately provide all parties in interest significantly more through its plan of reorganization than they would otherwise realize in the event of a liquidation."