Jason Industries Files for Bankruptcy After Virus Curbs Sales

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Jason Industries Inc., the maker of brushes, polishing buffs and seating for heavy industry, filed for bankruptcy after turnaround efforts that began last year foundered amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Creditors of the Milwaukee-based manufacturer are expected to become the new owners as part of the Chapter 11 filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York. Shareholders will be wiped out, according to a June 5 outline of the plan.

Jason has been working with advisers since August 2019 including Moelis & Co., Kirkland & Ellis and AlixPartners on strategic alternatives. These included looking for a buyer and cutting debt, which totaled more than $400 million earlier this year.

But the weak economy weighed on demand from customers and curtailed Jason’s ability to keep up with payments. The company’s preliminary outline envisioned cutting leverage by about $250 million.

Jason employed about 1,900 people in 13 countries as of April. Its product line includes industrial brushes, polishing buffs and compounds, abrasives, and roller technology products, sold under the Osborn nameplate, which has been in business since 1887.

Its seating products are used in motorcycles, operator seats for construction, agriculture, lawn and turf care, and for power sports, all under the Milsco brand.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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