A letter circulating has caused Fuller Brush President and Chief Executive Officer Brady Gros a lot of grief. It refers to a courtroom auction set for Oct. 16 in the State of New York.
“We are coming out of the bankruptcy process,” he said. “We will soon exit with new ownership.”
He stressed that the facility will remain open and in business.
Currently, there are several interested parties, Gros said. These potential buyers are touring the Fuller Brush plant west of Great Bend, going over financial records and doing other “due diligence.”
The proceeding is more of a court hearing rather than an auction, he said. Before they go into this meeting, the likely buyer will already be determined and all the judge will have to do is bang his gavel and the deal will be done.
In February, Fuller’s Leicester, N.Y.,-based parent company CPAC filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. At the time, company officials said the action would have little impact on the day-to-day operation at Great Bend facility.
Gros said there are several divisions of CPAC, each of which is being sold separately.
“The employees are up and arms” because of the letter, Gros said. It has also prompted concerned calls from company representatives and suppliers.
Fuller Brush’s assets and debts each amount to between $10 million and $50 million and Fuller had 185 employees at the time, 180 of which are at the Great Bend plant. The reason for the filing, company officials said, was to bring an infusion of needed capital into the struggling company.
The company, founded in Connecticut in 1906 by Alfred C. Fuller and famous for its door-to-door “Fuller Brush Man” sales force, now sells personal care and household cleaning products directly and through retailers.
The Fuller facility sits on 123.46 acres at the corner of West 10th and Airport roads and is leased to Fuller. Covering 572,114 square feet, the plant was built in 1973.