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Court receiver looking for buyer for closed Miller-Holzwarth plant

January 31, 2013
By MARY ANN GREIER , Salem News

SALEM - A Medina attorney appointed as receiver of the Miller-Holzwarth Inc. property in Salem said she's looking for a buyer for the closed business known for producing armored combat vehicle components.

Lisa M. Barbacci said by phone that she wanted to make sure the word got out, asking that anyone interested in purchasing the plant off of Pershing Street and all its equipment contact her at 330-722-4488 or by email at barbaccitrustee@gmail.com.

The longtime Salem company closed its doors without warning on July 30, with some employees confirming the closing occurred at the end of the work day when they were told their jobs were done. City officials ended up reading about the shutdown in the newspaper after the fact.

Shortly after the closing, a judge in Medina County ordered the company to pay another firm $1.56 million in a judgment.

Barbacci said she was appointed by the judge in Medina County Common Pleas Court case as the receiver and ordered to sell the assets of Miller-Holzwarth Inc. Her plans are to sell the company in one piece, including the name, the land and all the equipment.

When asked if the idea was to keep it intact so it can operate again, she said "the purchaser can do whatever they want, but I'm selling it as one lot."

As for what happens to the former employees, she said she didn't know at this point and wasn't sure how many there were. The plant isn't operating now, so it would be up to the purchaser.

A supplier to the U.S. military, the company received the Small Business Administration's Region V Small Business Subcontractor of the Year award in 2007. At the time, the number of employees was estimated at 80, but the figure at the time the plant closed was unknown.

Barbacci said she's traveled to Salem and talked to some of the workers and commented they're good employees. Information about the employees will be provided to potential purchasers, along with details about the machinery, the equipment and the type of products made by the company.

In a press release she issued regarding plans to sell Miller-Holzwarth, she said the company "produced a varied line of periscopes for armored combat vehicles, vision blocks, ballistic windows, transparent armor and specialty mechanical components for the U.S. military. The company's production process included the ability to laminate many dissimilar materials using proprietary autoclaving techniques and a varied range of adhesives. The machining and welding operations of Miller-Holzwarth Inc. complemented its laminating capabilities."

The press release also said "Miller-Holzwarth Inc. manufactured components for armored combat vehicles for more than 35 years. Miller-Holzwarth Inc.'s products can be found on the Humvee, the Bradley Armored Fighting Vehicle, armored personnel carriers (APCs) and numerous other combat vehicles. Miller-Holzwarth, Inc. was a certified government contractor and also ISO-certified."

Barbacci said they have to put together a plan and get it approved by the court, but noted that sale procedures are being prepared.

In September, Councilman Dave Nestic mentioned during a meeting that he had been contacted by people who were interested in the company. He spoke to the head of the company, Jennifer Moll, after it closed and was trying to get information about the business, but said she had become non-responsive.

According to Barbacci, she's not fighting the sale.

Barbacci didn't have a time frame for how soon a sale might take place, but said she wants the word out at this point that the business is for sale. She said she received a call from a man in Salem on Wednesday who was interested. She also said she has spoken with Nestic and with Larry Kosiba, the executive director of the Sustainable Opportunity Development Center. Kosiba has been working on economic development for the city.

"Everybody in Salem seems very motivated," she said.

She noted that materials for the press release about the company were compiled from the corporate web site at www.millerholzwarthinc.com and from corporate records.

Parties interested in purchasing Miller-Holzwarth Inc. should contact the receiver, Lisa M. Barbacci, at 330.722.4488 or by e-mail at: barbaccitrustee@gmail.com.

Mary Ann Greier can be reached at mgreier@salemnews.net

 
 

 

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