Barber Glass in receivership

Sahely Mukerji
November 15, 2010
COMMERCIAL, RETAIL, AUTO, FABRICATION

Lenders of Barber Glass Industries, Guelph, ON, have elected to place the company in receivership, effective Nov. 10, according to a release.

The company had three locations: Collingwood, ON, for oversize glass; Southgate Drive, Guelph, for architectural and furniture glass; and Suffolk Street, Guelph, for retail glass. The first two have been affected by the receivership, and about 100 employees -- 50 in each facility -- have lost their jobs, said Jeff Wilkins, operations manager at Collingwood. The Suffolk Street facility, with about 10 employees, hasn't been affected.

"The most difficult day of my life was standing in front of my employees to explain that the company had been placed in receivership," said John Barber, president, in the release. "This, in spite of three years of significant efforts of the management team, tremendous support by our dedicated employees and loyal suppliers."

After 127 years of successful operations, Barber Glass began an expansion in 2008 with the development of a new state-of-the-art facility serving an oversize architectural glass market, according to the release. A major equipment supplier to the new facility had problems in solving their equipment issues, resulting in a delay in the start-up of commercial production for six months. In addition, the soft economy and the rising Canadian dollar affected asset valuations and sales.

Company officials tried hard to find financing solutions, including through existing and new lenders, suppliers and government agencies to satisfy all parties. The company was close to an interim arrangement with the support of its suppliers and customers, but was unable to get its operating lender onside, according to the release.

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