Junction City, Ore.-based Country Coach LLC has about one more week to put together a deal to save the company, said CEO Jay Howard, but he’s not giving up yet.
The Register-Guard, Eugene, reported that the motorhome manufacturer, forced into Chapter 11 bankruptcy last week by its majority owner, is still working and talking daily with creditors and investors in an effort to find a solution that will enable the company to carry on, Howard said.
“We have a compelling business plan going through reorganization,” he said. “The optimum solution for the company and these employees and unsecured creditors and the bank and the current investment group is to reach an agreement that provides financing for the company to go forward.”
While offering no specifics, Howard said the business plan would allow the company to survive and grow and bring employees back, even in the most difficult economic times.
But time is running out, he said.
“The ultimate control of this company is in the bankruptcy court’s hands,” he said.
If no solution is found, Howard said he would resign as CEO.
“I am still CEO as long as there are people working for solutions,” he said.
The Country Coach factory, and its 500 workers, have been idle since early December.
Howard notified employees on New Year’s Eve that the company would shut for good at the end of February unless it was able to obtain new financing.
One of its main creditors, Wells Fargo, sued Country Coach after the company defaulted on an $8 million loan balance in an effort to liquidate the assets of the company.
That suit was put on hold after Country Coach’s majority owner, acting as a creditor, filed to put the company into involuntary bankruptcy. On Thursday, after Country Coach did not respond to the petition, Judge Albert Radliffe ordered the company into Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which protects the company from creditors while it attempts to reorganize its finances.
Tom Unger, a spokesman for Wells Fargo, said the bank had no comment.