THE VINDICATOR, YOUNGSTOWN
A judge will also decide whether to move CSC's bankruptcy case from Chapter 11 to Chapter 7.
By CYNTHIA VINARSKY
VINDICATOR BUSINESS WRITER
WARREN -- With CSC managers still scrambling to put together a business strategy to save the struggling steel mill, a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge has scheduled a hearing on plans to sell the mill's assets piecemeal.
The steel bar company, which shut down operations in April, has asked Judge William Bodoh to authorize a piece-by-piece sale and approve an auction process. Bodoh will consider the proposal at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday in bankruptcy court in Youngstown.
Don Caiazza, a former CSC president and one of the few managers still working at the mill, could not be reached to comment. Caiazza is heading up an effort to write a business plan to demonstrate that CSC could start up and operate profitably again.
CSC attorneys also could not be reached.
Qualified buyers: Renaissance Partners Inc., a management buyout firm with offices in Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Detroit, announced two weeks ago that it has qualified buyers ready to buy CSC, if company officials can prove it can be viable.
John Kubilis, president of Local 2243 of the United Steelworkers of America, which represents about 1,120 laid off CSC employees, was also unavailable.
He has said the union is working with Renaissance Partners to revise the union contract as part of the business plan to save the company.
CSC attorneys have said, ever since the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January, that selling the mill as a whole, operating unit was the company's preference because it would preserve jobs.
The company's motion noted, however, that CSC has not been successful in finding a buyer after nearly a year of searching.
The company is proposing that Michael Fox International, a Baltimore-based auctioneer hired last spring, would conduct a private sale of the assets.
Items listed include a 12-inch mill, a 35-inch mill, a continuous caster, a melt shop and a finishing shop.
Items appraised at $10,000 or more could not be sold at less than 70 percent their appraised value, under the company's proposal. Items not sold in the private sale would be sold in an auction, to be scheduled in October.
Hearing postponed: In a related matter, Judge Bodoh postponed another hearing originally set for next week at which he will consider whether to move the CSC case from Chapter 11 to Chapter 7. With the approval of attorneys for the company, CSC's lenders and its creditors the hearing was moved from Tuesday to 10 a.m. Sept. 5.
Chapter 11 generally allows a company to continue operating while negotiating a financial restructuring plan, while Chapter 7 calls for a company to be liquidated and proceeds distributed to its creditors.