Powermate Files for Bankruptcy, Closes Nebraska Plant

Powermate Corporation filed for bankruptcy and announced plans to close its Kearney, Neb., plant, eliminating about 200 jobs, according to The Associated Press March 19.

Powermate said in its U.S. bankruptcy court filing March 17 that it owes $50 million-$100 million to creditors, most of which are suppliers. The company is seeking Chapter 11 protection.

It was not immediately clear how all of Powermate’s operations would be affected by the filing because no one answered the phones at the company’s Aurora, Ill., headquarters, and the company has not issued a statement.

The company, which has plants in Kearney, Neb., and Springfield, Minn., manufactures portable generators, air compressors and pressure washers.

Powermate owes more than $4 million to Chicago-based engine maker Robin America Inc., which is the largest unsecured debt Powermate owes.

Ward Jorgenson, the Kearney plant manager, told the Kearney Hub the plant would close March 21, but wouldn’t comment further. Nebraska Workforce Development officials met with Powermate workers at the Kearney plant March 18 to explain what to expect in unemployment and offer to help the workers find new jobs.

Sun Capital Partners bought Powermate, then called Coleman Powermate, from American Household in August 2004. In 2006, Sun Capital announced it was trying to sell Powermate, but that deal fell through.

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