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Back in Red: Republic Files for Protection

Oct. 8, 2003
Second Chapter 11 tour for bar producer

Republic Engineered Products Holding LLC have filed a bankruptcy claim. The Ohio steelmaker, which emerged from a prior bankruptcy reorganization last year, listed assets of $481 million and liabilities of $467.9 million in its Chapter 11 statement. Two affiliated organizations, Republic Engineered Products LLC and Blue Steel Capital Corp., also filed for protection.

According to its statements, the company claimed it has defaulted on a loan but that it was negotiating with creditors. According to CEO Joseph F. Lapinsky, the bankruptcy route was the only way the company could restore its operations and maintain the business.

Against a backdrop of mild manufacturing demand, low prices, and steady competition, Republic was hit hard by the August 14 blackout that swept across Ohio, New York, and other parts of the Northeast and Midwest. At Republic's Lorain, OH, Works, a blast furnace was put out of service because of damage caused by a failure of the cooling system. Various rolling mill motors also failed.

With operations disrupted and inventories short, Republic was forced to implement a series of idlings and layoffs at its various operations. Creditor protection is seen having a stabilizing effect on the organization as it regains its footing in the marketplace.