Universal Building Products Inc., a $180 million supplier of accessories and equipment to the concrete construction industry, has filed voluntary petitions under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.
Universal Building's Formco and Accubrace operations will continue to operate in the ordinary course, while the balance of the company’s commercial and manufacturing operations will cease.
By pre-arrangement, a venture known as UBP Acquisition Corp. (UBPAC) has agreed to acquire substantially all assets, machinery, equipment, and intellectual property owned by Universal Building and several subsidiaries. After the sale, Universal Building is expected to file a Chapter 11 liquidation plan.
Universal filed its petitions Wednesday in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware in Wilmington.
According to court filings, the companies once operated "one of the largest privately-owned concrete form and accessory manufacturing businesses in North America," but those businesses have "significantly diminished" since 2007.
The company blamed its bankruptcy filings on "severe contractions in their liquidity position."
Universal Building Products was launched in 2006 with the merger of Universal Form Clamp and Don De Cristo Concrete Accessories. The company serves industrial, government, commercial and residential contractors; precasters; rebar specialists; and tilt-up engineers with more than 3,000 products that include professional forming systems and products, scaffolding and shoring products, construction chemicals, concrete forming products and accessories, formliner patterns, precast products, and tilt-up systems.
The company, based in Orange County, CA, has more than 800 employees throughout its 16 manufacturing and distributing sites. Its products are sold at 1,800 dealers nationwide.
UBPAC is an entity formed by certain funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management LP and Solus Alternative Asset Management LP . The two firms are also the majority equity holders of Dayton Superior Corp., which provides specialized products for the nonresidential concrete construction market throughout North America.
UBPAC owns 100% of the senior secured debt of Universal and has bid its senior secured debt in connection with the acquisition. UBPAC has also agreed to provide a $6 million debtor-in-possession financing inside of bankruptcy in order to complete the §363 asset sale and Chapter 11 process.
Barring other offers in the interim, the bankruptcy process is expected to take 30 to 60 days.