BLAIRSVILLE — Specialty glass manufacturer Dlubak Corp. has filed for bankruptcy and its assets could be sold to a private equity firm as soon as next month.
The company is seeking Chapter 11 protection as it proceeds with an expedited sale to the firm, Grey Mountain Partners of Colorado.
In filings with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court’s Western District of Pennsylvania, the company lists assets and liabilities of between $1 million and $10 million. Its top 20 unsecured creditors are collectively owed about $3.4 million.
The company filed for bankruptcy Wednesday.
President Frank C. Dlubak could not be reached for comment Friday. An attorney representing the company, Steven Shreve, did not return a phone call seeking comment.
According to court filings, the company sought bankruptcy protection after running out of operating capital, a situation it said was created by declining sales over the last three years. It blamed the lower sales on general economic conditions and an industry-specific decline.
A defense contractor, Dlubak Corp. derives much of its revenue from making ballistic glass for combat vehicles.
The company said it had tried to obtain additional capital and refinance its debt with its primary secured lender, First Commonwealth Bank. Filings indicate the company owes the bank at least $3.2 million.
But when it was unable to do either, the company decided the only way to keep the business going and preserve most of its jobs was by selling to a strategic buyer.
At one time, the company employed close to 160 workers, who are represented by Local 1537-06 of the United Steelworkers. Ernest Esposito, of the Steelworkers’ subdistrict office in Johnstown, said a last group of 27 hourly employees were furloughed Wednesday.
Esposito said the union has commitment from the company “to work something out.”
According to court filings, the company, after deciding the only option was a sale, began shopping itself around and enlisted the help of adviser Compass Financial Group in late May. Through that effort, the company connected with Grey Mountain Partners, which has agreed to acquire the manufacturer for $2 million. Grey Mountain owns several other companies involved in glass manufacturing, according to filings.
Grey Mountain is serving as a stalking horse bidder. As such, the firm is essentially setting the floor price for any other bids that might arise for the company.
The company’s real estate is not part of the sale.
Dlubak is headquartered in Blairsville, where it operates a 100,000-square-foot plant off Route 22. It also has an aluminum bending facility in Freeport.