Ceramic Industry

RHI Restructuring to Realign Core Businesses

January 15, 2002
RHI Refractories Holding Co. recently announced a major restructuring plan to reduce debt, increase manufacturing efficiency and realign the company's core businesses: Harbison Walker Refractories Co., AP Green Industries and North American Refractories Co. (NARCO). "The continuing financial crisis in the U.S. steel industry has sharply reduced demand for refractory products," said Guenter Karhut, chief executive officer of RHI Refractories Holding Company. "As a result, we are restructuring our core businesses to be as competitive as possible and to build a stronger foundation for future success in key markets."

As part of the restructuring, NARCO, like other entities facing an overwhelming number of asbestos-related claims, has filed a voluntary petition for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. The petition was filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, in Pittsburgh. NARCO is seeking court approval of a $20 million debtor in possession financing facility, which NARCO believes will provide adequate capital to meet its ongoing obligations to its customers, vendors and employees.

RHI has 24 manufacturing facilities and 2400 employees in the U.S. and Canada. The company will close some facilities in the restructuring process to reduce production capacity and redundancies, but the number and locations haven't been determined. The company expects to announce more specific details in the near future.