Robert Kraft-led company plans to buy First Edge Solutions out of receivership

Bankrupt

A new company led by Robert W. Kraft called RWWF LLC was approved for a $700,000 loan from the Milwaukee Economic Development Corp. Tuesday to purchase the assets of Milwaukee-based First Edge Solutions out of receivership.Bankrupt

The loan will be used for moving costs and working capital to restore the company, which filed for receivership in July. First Edge, which is currently headquartered at 1301 W. Canal St. in Milwaukee, plans to move to 7254 N. Teutonia Ave. in its reorganization.

Founded in 2003, First Edge is a multi-channel communication, print and document management provider with production facilities in Phoenix and Atlanta and satellite offices in Chicago, New York and St. Louis. As of August, it had 75 employees, 52 of whom were based in Wisconsin. In its MEDC filing, the company lists 35 full-time and eight part-time employees. As part of the conditions for the loan, RWWF has promised to add another 10 full-time and five part-time employees over the next two years.

The primary lender listed on the MEDC documents is North Mill Capital. First Edge has listed $3.4 million it has secured from other sources for the asset purchase. RWWF has received much of the funding from the U.S. Citizenship Fund, an EB-5 foreign investor group.

Bobby Kraft, Robert W. Kraft’s son, has resigned as president and chief executive officer of First Edge, and is not involved with the new effort to purchase the assets.

Bobby Kraft and a group of investors in October 2014 acquired World Marketing, a marketing and direct mail subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway. They moved World Marketing’s headquarters and administrative operations to 1301 W. Canal St. and created four new positions. Kraft served as CEO of the company, which had about 450 employees at its Atlanta, Chicago and Dallas plants and its St. Louis office. That company in August made a bid to purchase First Edge, but has now filed for bankruptcy.

About 35 creditors have filed claims in the pending receivership case. In a separate case filed in April, First Edge was ordered to pay more than $20,000 owed to Waukesha-based MRA The Management Association Inc.

Joshua Morby, a spokesman for RWWF, said First Edge’s problems began when the Affordable Care Act changed the way many health insurers do business. First Edge had provided printing services for several of those health insurers, he said.

“The group of investors that have made the offer to purchase the assets of First Edge Solutions are taking steps to continue operating the company in the City of Milwaukee,” Morby said. “We’re hopeful that this deal comes together within the coming months.”

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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