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Judge OKs auction of assets



Published: Sat, June 23, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The auction appears to be the best way out for all involved, the judge said.

By BOB JACKSON

VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER

YOUNGSTOWN -- After a year on the market with no takers, officials of CSC Ltd. hope an auction next month will finally lure a buyer for the idled and bankrupt business.

Judge William Bodoh of U.S. Bankruptcy Court on Friday approved the company's request to sell its assets at an auction July 12. It will be at the Cleveland offices of CSC's legal firm, Baker & amp; Hostetler.

"An attempt to market the premises to anyone prepared to make a reasonable offer and to operate the facility appears to be in the best interest of all parties," Judge Bodoh's opinion says.

A hearing to approve the best offer or offers for those assets will be at 2 p.m. July 25 in Judge Bodoh's Youngstown courtroom.

Recap: CSC filed for bankruptcy protection in January and shut down operations in April, putting more than 1,300 hourly and salaried employees out of work.

The business has sat in a mothballed state since then with only a skeleton crew on hand to maintain the premises. The company has sought a buyer, but there are no serious prospects for a private sale, according to court documents.

"The continuing cost of moth-balling the facility further depletes the estate," the judge wrote.

Contingency plan: If no company bids at the auction, Judge Bodoh granted permission for CSC to sell the mill in up to three sections. Potential buyers have expressed interest in newer parts of the mill, such as the melt shop, continuous caster and 12-inch mill, officials have said.

Those major parts of the mill could be operated by separate companies, either independently or in partnership with each other.

Interested bidders must submit a "qualified initial bid" to the court by July 9, Judge Bodoh said.

Among other requirements, a qualified initial bid must be accompanied by a $1 million deposit and must be for cash only, payable in full when the sale is completed.

bjackson@vindy.com




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