Attorneys representing CSC have run up a $762,595 tab in the first five months of this year.
By CYNTHIA VINARSKY
VINDICATOR BUSINESS WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- A metal fabricating business from Ellwood City, Pa., has submitted the first bid to buy a portion of the shuttered CSC Ltd. steel mill in Warren.
In a letter to Baker & amp; Hostetler, the Cleveland law firm representing CSC Ltd. in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy case, family-owned Ellwood Group Inc. has offered $2.5 million in cash for CSC's thermal treatment and finishing operations.
EGI wants to buy the land, several buildings, cranes, material handling equipment, office equipment, a lab and lab equipment.
Larry L. Symons, vice president and chief financial officer, wrote that the company would fund the purchase from cash or available lines of credit.
EGI would not comment on the offer. Neither CSC president Don Caiazza nor CSC attorney Jeffrey Baddeley could be reached.
Canceled auction: CSC attorneys were forced to cancel an auction to sell the plant as a whole July 12 because no qualified bidders expressed interest or submitted a required $1 million deposit.
The steel bar maker filed for bankruptcy protection in January and shut down operations April 13.
CSC officials and Local 2243 of the United Steelworkers of America, which represents most of the mill's 1,300 employees, have been searching for more than a year for an owner willing to buy and operate the mill as a whole.
Officials have agreed, however, to sell the assets in up to three sections.
Efforts continue: A principal with Michael Fox International, the Baltimore-based auctioning firm CSC hired in the spring to prepare the massive plant for sale, said efforts to find a single buyer are continuing.
Adam Reich said the company is also pushing for the sale of the mill's main components to buyers willing to operate and employ workers at the site, which is seen as the second-best option.
CSC was Trumbull County's fourth-largest employer. Its demise is expected to result in the loss of hundreds of spinoff jobs in other industries.
The auctioneer is nearly done cataloging the mill's equipment in preparation for the third option -- dismantling and a piecemeal sale. "I believe that's a long way off," Reich said. "We're still focusing on the first two options."
About EGI: Founded in 1910, Ellwood Group Inc. operates seven companies which produce and market engineered, heavy metal sections, mostly fabricated from iron and steel.
The company also has a growing business in titanium and nickel-alloy forgings and operates a steel plant in Belgium.
Legal expenses: Meanwhile, court records show that attorneys representing CSC in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy case chalked up $762,595 in fees and expenses in the first five months of this year.
Judge William Bodoh has scheduled a hearing for 10 a.m. Tuesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court here to consider interim fee applications from CSC attorney Baker & amp; Hostetler.
Court records show attorneys for the firm had spent 2,680 hours working on the case from January through May 31, a rate of $261.69 per hour.
The judge will also hear interim requests from Gardner, Carton & amp; Douglas, the Chicago law firm representing the unsecured creditors committee, and American Express Tax & amp; Business service, which is providing the committee accounting and financial advice.