Register, or Login to view the article
July 7, 2022 – The Debtors filed a motion requesting Court approval of a private $5.0mn sale of their Chicago-based plastics manufacturing assets (the “Acquired Assets”) to i2Poly, Inc. (“Buyer”) [Docket No. 111]. The asset purchase agreement (the “APA”) executed in connection with the proposed sale is attached to the motion as Exhibit B. The APA is executed on behalf of the Buyer by Chris Hackett of i2M which describes itself as "a privately held manufacturing business located in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Our specialty is advanced flexible polymer manufacturing, printing and laminating."
In explaining their choice of a private sale, the Debtors provide: "The Debtors are relying on their well-articulated business judgment in their decision to sell the Acquired Assets. As part of the Auctioneer Agreement, the Debtors prepared for the possibility of a going concern purchaser, and allowed themselves an 'off-ramp' to achieve a higher and better offer than the Acquired Assets than they were guaranteed through the Auction. The Auction Agreement provided a Guaranteed Amount of $3.8 million for all of the Debtors’ machinery and equipment in both their Chicago and Seymour facilities. Through the Sale to Buyer, the Debtors will obtain $5,000,000 for the Acquired Assets alone. PPL will still go forward with the Seymour Auction on the terms of the Auctioneer Agreement, and the Debtors will obtain additional funds from that sale, as well as the planned sales of the real estate in Seymour."
On June 2, 2022, Home Products International and one affiliated Debtor (“Home Products” or the “Debtors,” a designer, manufacturer and marketer of housewares products) filed for Chapter 11 protection noting estimated assets between $0 and $500k; and estimated liabilities between $10.0mn and $50.0mn.
In a declaration in support of sale (attached to the motion), the Debtors’ CEO James Auker states, “The Debtors seek an order authorizing the sale of their plastics manufacturing business located in Chicago. While the Debtors already sought and obtained the Court’s approval for the sale of these assets through an auction, I am advised that the Purchaser wishes to obtain approval of the Sale specifically in order to obtain the protections of the Bankruptcy Code as it operates the plastics manufacturing business going forward.
The Debtors will receive significantly more value from this Sale than they were likely to get from the Auction, and they will receive the funds within a few days of the Sale being approved and the Closing occurring. In addition, the Debtors will be able to reduce the expenses of the estates significantly, particularly with respect to rental obligations. Furthermore, it is my understanding that the Buyer may offer employment to a number of the Debtors’ former employees and seek to enter into new contracts with a number the Debtors’ vendors, which would benefit the community.
The Sale does not impact the auction of the Debtors’ machinery and equipment in its Seymour, Indiana facilities, nor the sale of the Seymour real estate, each of which will proceed and which will bring additional funds into the estates. The Debtors’ remaining employees are also still collecting accounts receivable (which is not included in the Acquired Assets), which also increases the value of the estates.”
Prior to filing the Chapter 11 Cases, the Debtors undertook a variety of efforts to sell their business as a going concern, including hiring an investment banker to market the business. Those efforts were ultimately unsuccessful and the Debtors determined that an orderly liquidation and wind-down in bankruptcy was the best method to obtain value for its creditors. The Debtors determined that engaging PPL to run an auction of their assets would be the best way to maximize such value. However, they provided for the option to be able to enter into a going concern sale if the opportunity arose. The Debtors were able to locate such a going concern purchaser, and entered into a transaction which will provide additional recoveries to the estate.
Key Terms of the APA:
- Seller: Home Products International – North America, Inc. (“HPI-NA”), and Home Products International, Inc. (“HPI” and collectively with HPI-NA, “Seller”)
- Buyer: i2Poly, Inc., an Illinois corporation.
- Purchase Price: $5.0mn
About the Debtors
According to the Debtors: “An American manufacturer of storage, home organization and laundry care products, Home Products International (HPI) is committed to a work environment that fosters innovative solutions and customer service excellence."
The Debtors' brands include Homz, Durability Extreme Storage, ECOStorage and Homz Commercial Storage.
Read more Bankruptcy News