BENTON HARBOR, MI–(Marketwire – Jan 8, 2013) – When New Products Corporation (NPC) recently learned about the proposed bankruptcy sale of Modern Plastics Corp.’s real estate on North Shore Drive in Benton Harbor, including all the lands and buildings, for a low price of $25,000, the company started asking questions. After all, Modern Plastics had been a customer and NPC’s neighbor on North Shore Drive in Benton Harbor for more than 70 years before it was forced to close its doors in 2008 and file for bankruptcy.
“We only learned about the option to purchase Modern Plastics because we are one of the creditors,” said Cheryl Miller, NPC’s president and CEO. ”We supplied parts to Modern Plastics for years. We are one of many creditors still owed money. They even owed paychecks to some of their loyal employees.”
Following further inquiries, NPC learned that an offer of $25,000 to purchase Modern Plastics’ facilities and property was made by a company formed by an attorney from the law firm of Dickinson Wright, which also represents Whirlpool and Harbor Shores.
In December, NPC filed an objection with the bankruptcy court, offering to pay more for the property to protect creditors of Modern Plastics, and to prevent Harbor Shores’ complete encirclement of NPC’s manufacturing facilities and operations.
“It’s no coincidence that Harbor Shores has been eyeing our property and our neighbor, Modern Plastics’ property, for many years,” added Miller. “We have access to drawings that date back to 2005, showing residential development on both the properties.”
This is not the first time NPC has gone head to head with Harbor Shores. In September 2011, NPC filed a lawsuit against Harbor Shores and developers of the Harbor Shores Golf Course for taking the company’s property without asking. It is now part of the 18th fairway. This lawsuit is still pending in Berrien County Circuit Court, as the parties engage in discovery.
“We refuse to be squeezed out of business,” said Miller. “Our mission is to continue supplying high quality parts to customers worldwide, to protect the jobs and livelihoods of our workers, and continue to be good neighbors in Benton Harbor by acting with integrity and doing the right thing.”
Miller and NPC’s legal counsel will attend the upcoming bankruptcy hearing with regard to its objection and counter-offer to purchase Modern Plastics. The hearing is scheduled to be held in Kalamazoo’s Michigan Western District Bankruptcy Court at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, January 9, 2013. Bankruptcy Judge Scott W. Dales is presiding.
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