May 24, 2024
Court ruling on use of ‘Armstrong’ name clears the way for sale of Armstrong Flooring; companies close to finalizing deal | Local Business

A personal bankruptcy judge cleared a last hurdle Friday morning for the sale of Armstrong Flooring’s North American belongings to a team led by Mountville-based AHF Products and solutions, and by Friday night the organizations stated the deal should close Monday morning.

Hundreds of local work were being hanging in the balance as a dispute about the use of naming rights threatened to derail the sale and then led to talks that extended into Friday night.

Pursuing a 10 a.m. Friday hearing on AHF Products’ right to use the “Armstrong” name and logos just after a sale, Choose Mary Walrath requested Armstrong World Industries to provide penned consents specifying that the sale would give AHF Goods the ideal to use the Armstrong title on its flooring. Armstrong World Industries had been withholding those people published consents, which are a affliction of the sale.

Armstrong Earth Industries offered the consents by 3 p.m. Friday as demanded by the decide but had also mentioned it prepared to charm Walrath’s ruling. Just in advance of 7 p.m., AHF Products and Armstrong World Industries issued a joint statement saying the pending sale and and stated they solved the dispute more than use of the Armstrong identify.

“This is a consequence that satisfies each AWI and AHF Items,” the assertion explained. “Armstrong Planet Industries and AHF Products and solutions are equally regional Lancaster County organizations and have a vested curiosity in preserving fantastic spending, neighborhood work, as well as safeguarding the integrity of the Armstrong model identify.”

After the joint statement was issued, Armstrong Planet Industries spokeswoman Jennifer Johnson said Armstrong Earth Industries would not attraction the bankruptcy judge’s ruling for the sale of Armstrong Flooring’s North American property. But she mentioned the enterprise has appealed the ruling as it relates to the sale of Armstrong Flooring’s belongings in China and Australia.

Alongside with Gordon Brothers Commercial & Industrial of Boston, AHF Goods agreed to shell out $107 million for the North American assets of Armstrong Flooring. The sale would incorporate the Lancaster plant together Dillerville Street as well as vegetation in Beech Creek Township, Pennsylvania, and Kankakee, Illinois.

Independent agreements have been produced for the sale of Armstrong Flooring’s Chinese and Australian operations, with all of the promotions totaling $203 million.

“Armstrong is a good addition to our broad family of makes, allowing for us to broaden our shopper base, and broadening our consumer foundation is what permits us to expand the vegetation,” AHF President and CEO Brian Carson claimed in the joint statement Friday evening. “What’s most important to AHF is that we get these operations nutritious and worthwhile. It is profitability that allows growth. As the business grows, the careers grow. For these vegetation, we sense the best days are forward.”

When the joint assertion did not give depth about the arrangements that fixed the naming legal rights challenge, it brought to an end the stress of the earlier a number of days, when courtroom filings unveiled that Armstrong Flooring and its previous guardian business, Armstrong World Industries, ended up at odds in excess of Armstrong Flooring’s being familiar with that use of the Armstrong title on flooring products and solutions would transfer to AHF Products and solutions as a aspect of the sale.

Armstrong Flooring was granted that right when it was spun off from Armstrong Globe Industries in 2016, but as section of the bankruptcy sale, it had to get Armstrong Entire world Industries to signal consents that admit that legal rights to the name will go to AHF Products.

In accordance to Armstrong Flooring courtroom filings, the initially indicator of hassle in excess of the consents arrived in late June, and this week Armstrong Flooring filed fit, asking the personal bankruptcy court docket to drive Armstrong Entire world Industries to indication the consents.

In that court submitting, Armstrong Flooring had warned that if it could not shut the deal Friday since it lacked the created consents, the company would most likely confront liquidation as it ran out of dollars to continue on working.

Slimmed down Lancaster operation

Even though the Armstrong Flooring’s Lancaster County creation plant and warehousing functions are envisioned to continue on under AHF Products and solutions, lots of of the community workers of Armstrong Flooring will possible find by themselves out of function.

As of May, Armstrong Flooring experienced 606 personnel in Lancaster County, which incorporated about 390 who ended up assigned to the company’s Greenfield headquarters and analysis and design and style middle.

Carson reported the firm options to continue to keep 90{ae4c731f0fa9ef51314dbd8cd1b5a49e21f1d642b228e620476f3e076dd7c050} of Armstrong Flooring’s recent plant workforce, which incorporates the roughly 200-moreover staff members at the Dillerville Street plant. Even so, it won’t be working with Armstrong Flooring’s previous Greenfield destinations. Some of people staff members may perhaps move to AHF Products and solutions headquarters in Mountville, but most will likely reduce their careers.

AHF Merchandise did not specify how lots of former Armstrong Flooring workforce will sign up for AHF Products, but Carson experienced claimed lots of of the place of work staff are not needed.

Just after Armstrong Environment Industries spun off Armstrong Flooring in 2016 as its own company, Armstrong Flooring offered its wooden flooring business, AHF Goods, two years later on to private fairness firm American Industrial Companions in for $100 million.

Carson used 16 several years at Armstrong Entire world Industries just before leaving in 2006. He returned to Lancaster in 2019 to grow to be the initially president and CEO of AHF Items and has guided its immediate growth. Without having the Armstrong Flooring buy, AHF has 13 manufacturers, employs additional than 2,300 men and women and has documented yearly revenues of much more than $400 million.

“AHF Items is the former Armstrong wood flooring business enterprise and numerous of our current employees are AWI alums, together with me,” Carson claimed in the statement issued Friday evening. “We are psyched to the moment all over again have Armstrong in our relatives of flooring makes. Armstrong is a superb brand that is critical to the flooring sector and to Lancaster County.”

Use of ‘Armstrong’ identify threatens $203M sale of Armstrong Flooring 10 a.m. Friday listening to scheduled

Escaping liquidation

All through Armstrong Flooring’s bankruptcy, AHF Products and solutions was the only capable bidder that preferred to keep elements of the business heading. Without having these types of a bidder, the company’s property would have been liquidated to pay back lenders.  

This 7 days, the prospect of a liquidation was again on the table as Armstrong Flooring filed a lawsuit towards Armstrong Planet Industries simply because Armstrong Environment Industries was refusing to signal consents that would let AHF Merchandise to use the Armstrong name for its products and solutions.

In its fit, Armstrong Flooring warned that if the dispute postponed closing the sale, the postponement would bring about the want for a liquidation of Armstrong Flooring that would guide to the closure of all its destinations plants and reduction of all its positions. Armstrong Flooring explained that would come about simply because it did not have funds to keep on its operations previous Friday.

Filings by Armstrong Flooring demonstrate that Armstrong Planet Industries began to push back on delivering written consents for AHF Products to use the Armstrong title on June 28, but Armstrong Planet Industries did not file any paperwork in court until eventually just just before Friday morning’s hearing. In its short, Armstrong World Industries argued that given that its penned consent for use of its logos was made a issue of sale, it did not need to increase a formal objection.

Choose Walrath turned down that assert, saying the company’s likelihood to item to the consumer utilizing its emblems arrived when she specified in her May 31 “bidding techniques order” that the consumer would think Armstrong Flooring’s contract and licenses.

“By failing to item to the assumption and assigning of the license agreement, AWI are deemed to have consented,” Walrath claimed at the conclusion of Friday’s listening to. “The law is very clear that any party can be deemed to have consented in the facial area of a court buy necessitating it to get action.”

Walrath also turned down a request for a keep of the ruling produced by Daniel Fliman, an legal professional representing Armstrong Environment Industries, who explained the firm would be desirable the choice.

But designs to appeal the ruling impacting AHF Product’s use of the title experienced been dropped by Friday evening when the joint statement was issued that integrated reviews from Armstrong Planet Industries President and CEO Vic Grizzle.

“We have been doing work with AHF driving the scenes to transfer the Armstrong model license mainly because we the two have the identical ambitions, the preservation of careers and the development of our providers and communities,” Grizzle said. “At AWI, we are happy for the previous AFI workforce, notably in Lancaster, and wish them significantly success inside the AHF relatives. We believe in the addition of this model will assistance the continued success of AHF in the flooring marketplace.”

Armstrong Flooring employees say goodbye in social media online video [watch]

Armstrong Flooring settles with Higher Properties, nonunion retirees