Bartel & Co. will be auctioning the assets of bankrupt Pilgrim International Inc. starting at 9 a.m. Friday (Dec. 12) at the former Pilgrim complex on C.R. 14 in Middlebury, Ind.
The RV manufacturer ceased operations in August, laying off nearly 180 employees, and on Sept. 22 filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Brad Hooley, president of Goshen, Ind.-based Bartel, said he would have seven or eight auctioneers working in three rings throughout the day until everything is sold.
“It’s an enormous amount of inventory,” said Hooley. “Their closing was unexpected so they were stocked up to build a lot of units.”
Items include 10 to 12 travel trailers in various stages of completion, approximately 30 to 40 steel trailer frames and multiple skids of new tires and axles in bundles. There is also a building full of various sizes of lumber, fireplaces, carpeting, windows, doors, window coverings, hardware, wire, appliances, tubing, plumbing parts, screws, nails and numerous other RV components.
Hooley, who has been in the auctioneering business for nearly 25 years, could not estimate what the auction might yield.
“We haven’t made any promises to the bankruptcy court. The court did require us to post a $400,000 bond, so that gives you an idea what they’re expecting,” he said.
The auctions is being conducted by order of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, J. Richard Ransel, trustee.
Hooley’s staff has been working since Dec. 1 to organize the auction items. “We’ve been advising people over the phone to bring a ‘bidding buddy’ and plan for a long day,” he said. He hopes to finish the auction by 2:30 p.m.
The Elkhart Truth earlier reported that at the time it stopped production, Pilgrim had $9.3 million in orders, $4.3 million in receivables and $1.2 million in cash.