Pace Industries out of bankruptcy, plans for growth

Fayetteville-based Pace Industries has emerged from bankruptcy and plans to implement a growth strategy, the company said Tuesday.

In mid-April, Pace Industries, a full-service aluminum, zinc and magnesium die casting company, voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the District of Delaware.

At the time, the company said the filing was a move to reorganize its debt as it struggled with financial pressures brought on in part by the coronavirus pandemic. Pace Industries has operations in Fayetteville and Harrison, as well as around the U.S. and Mexico. The filing did not involve Pace's operations in Mexico.

As part of its plan to emerge from bankruptcy, the company converted its existing senior secured notes into 100% of the equity of the reorganized company, according to a release. Pace Industries' two largest senior secured lenders in the restructuring are TCW Group and Cerberus Capital Management L.P.

The company said it intends to pursue a "go-forward growth strategy" aimed at key industries and markets.

The company was founded in 1970 in Harrison and is one of the largest fully-integrated suppliers of aluminum, zinc and magnesium die cast and finished products in North America. It operates seven die casting plants in the U.S. and two in Mexico, as well as tool and die shops, and painting and finishing shops, according to court filings.

The company sells products in several primary markets including automotive, power-sports, lawn and garden, and appliances. In 2019 the company booked $560 million in revenue. At the time of its bankruptcy filing, Pace employed about 730, with 252 salaried workers and nearly 480 hourly or part-time workers.

Pace Industries said Tuesday that Donald Hampton Jr. has been appointed as chief executive officer effective immediately. He as two decades of industry experience.

"We begin this next chapter for Pace Industries as a financially stronger company, which will enable us to capture the full benefit of the cost-saving initiatives implemented prior to the COVID-19 outbreak as well as new market strategies," Hampton Jr., said in a statement.

Outgoing CEO Scott Bull, who has been with the company for 41 years, will serve in an advisory capacity to ensure a smooth transition.

In Chapter 11, a company works to restructure its debt through the court so it can emerge financially stronger. In initial documents, the company claimed assets valued at between $100 million and $500 million, and debts between $100 million and $500 million. The move was approved by Pace's senior secured lenders.

Business on 06/03/2020

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