Buyer plans to restart work at Gossen Corp.

Glendale manufacturer closed in October

Nearly 100 employees who lost jobs earlier this year at Glendale-based Gossen Corp. will have an opportunity to return to work after New Jersey-based Inteplast Group bought the firm.

Gossen Corp., a plastic fabrication company that made deck, porch, railing, home exterior and interior millwork products, was placed into receivership in October. The company ceased operations a few weeks later, terminating 92 employees in Wisconsin and another 49 in Cartersville, Georgia.

Inteplast’s purchase of Gossen for $5.5 million was approved Tuesday in Milwaukee County Circuit Court and is expected to close later this week. Inteplast plans to offer former employees the opportunity to return to work and resume production by the end of the month.

Court appointed receiver Michael Polsky and Silverman Consulting had executed 46 confidentiality agreements with potential bidders and 27 conducted site visits. Inteplast agreed to buy the company ahead of an auction scheduled for Monday and no other bidders registered for the auction.

John Young, Inteplast president, said the company knew about Gossen and was drawn to the acquisition because of the number of people affected by the layoffs.

“It was imperative for us to get the bid done and quickly resume operations,” Young said. “We could have joined the liquidation process in order to save money, but at our expense we opted to restore full operations, mainly in deference to the many workers, some of whom had been at Gossen for more than 15 to 20 years.”

Gossen had more than $5.5 million in debt and failed to make payroll when it was placed in receivership.

Inteplast, meanwhile, had sales exceeding $2.6 billion in this year and is the second largest film and sheet manufacturer in North America. The company has more than 50 manufacturing facilities and 7,300 employees.

Young said the purchase would complement the company’s World-Pak division, which manufacturers PVC building products including decking, moulding and trim at facilities in Lolita, Texas and Middlebury, Indiana.

“In many ways Gossen’s closing brings back old memories from the early 1990s when we started manufacturing with humble roots in Lolita, Texas,” Young said. “Even back then, most of our peers had begun migrating overseas; others have since closed down. We, on the other hand, stayed firm, never vacillating in our belief in domestic production. We always believed in American exceptionalism and more so in the ideal of American manufacturing.”

Young said he wanted to show Glendale and Cartersville “are great locations for sustaining manufacturing.”

“Likewise, we are confident that both Wisconsin and Georgia are great states for domestic manufacturing,” he said.

Proceeds from the sale will go towards paying Gossen’s obligations, including to First Business Capital Corp. and to some of the 430 creditors, former employees and others who received notice that Gossen was in receivership. More than 50 claims have been submitted by those who say the company owed them money.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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