Cast-Iron Stove Manufacturer Back in Bankruptcy

April 21, 2008
Workers at Vermont Casting, other operations given closure notice

CFM Corp., a producer of cast-iron stoves and fireplace structures has filed for bankruptcy and may be closing its operations. The Mississauga, ON-based company has 16 plants, including facilities in Orilla, ON; Bethel and Randolph, VT; and Huntington, IN. The company’s brand names include Vermont Casting and Majestic Fireplace, as well as Dutch West and Century Hearth.

The filing for creditor protection took place on April 9, according to reports. It is the second resort to bankruptcy for CFM, which filed in 2005 and was revived by a $60-million cash investment from the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan.

CFM’s current liabilities include bank and third-party debts of$329.5 million.

Workers at the company’s plants were notified of likely layoffs stemming from the bankruptcy, though in news reports the company’s v.p.-human resources, Darrell Olson, has stated the plants are still operating.

The company blames the current problem on the downturn in the housing market, as well high commodity prices and the devalued U.S. currency. CFM will need new cash contributions in order to continue operations, it says. According to its bankruptcy filing the Ontario Teachers fund is unwilling to provide further funding.