Auburn Foundry to Continue Operating, Pending Sale

Investor group confident of plant's viability

News reports now indicate Auburn Foundry will continue operating its remaining gray and ductile iron foundry in Auburn, IN, though previous reports indicated a closing this week was imminent. Company officials confirm a pending sale of assets to Summitbridge National Investments L.L.C., a Denver investor group.

Summitbridge emerged in recent days with a high bid for the foundry, besting an earlier offer from OH-based Reserve Group. No details of the offer have been made public. Reserve's bid was $5.1 million.

Auburn consists of two plants, one of which has already been closed as part of an earlier strategy to consolidate operations at the newer site. The foundry has been in Chapter 11 creditor protection since February 2004. The company had said it would close the remaining plant if a sale had not been reached this week.

“The new company will have to ‘right size’ its operations to meet its current customer needs,” stated Auburn Foundry president Tom Woehlke. According to the Ft.Wayne, IN, Journal Gazette. The number of jobs to be affected by the change in ownership will be fewer than the total employment of 260 hourly and salaried workers in danger of losing their positions if the foundry closed.

If the sale is approved -- it's expected in early May – organizational changes will be made at that time. Auburn Foundry has asked the U.S. Bankruptcy Court overseeing its bankruptcy reorganization to approve the sale as soon as possible.

“We believe that the plan to make this a profitable operation is viable and quite achievable,” the investment group stated. “We look forward to working with the employees, customers and vendors of Auburn.”

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