JUNCTION CITY, Ore. — Luxury motorcoach and RV manufacturer Country Coach LLC’s majority owner, acting as a creditor, has filed a petition to force the company into involuntary bankruptcy proceedings.
The action is intended to fend off Wells Fargo Bank, which sued last month to repossess and liquidate collateral pledged by Country Coach against a 2007 loan. That loan now has a balance of about $8 million and is in default.
Los Angeles investment banker Bryant Riley led a group of investors that bought Country Coach in 2007. He filed the petition for involuntary bankruptcy under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code. The factory has been shut down and 500 workers idled since December 2008.
Country Coach’s legal team is working to address Wells Fargo’s issues. Country Coach is allowing furloughed employees access to its facility to take possession of their personal property kept at the corporate facility.
“We continue to diligently pursue all alternatives with our lenders, equity holders, and outside investors to secure the financing or investment necessary to bring workers back, and to reopen our factories,” said Country Coach President & CEO Jay Howard.
“Allowing employees closely supervised access to only their personal items is a measure to minimize the risk to their valuable tools or other personal items because of the bank’s legal actions. In spite of many persistent economic challenges, we remain cautiously hopeful that we will re-open our doors before spring.”
Also referenced by Howard was the support of the office of U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, in pursuing a positive solution for Country Coach LLC’s 500 employees. “For more than four months, Sen. Wyden and his team have worked diligently to secure help for Country Coach and others in our Oregon-based industry.”
Located in Junction City, Oregon, Country Coach celebrates 36 years of designing, manufacturing, and marketing highline Class A diesel motorcoaches under brand names such as Tribute 260, Inspire 360, Allure 400 Series, Intrigue 530, Magna 630, Affinity 700 Series, Rhapsody 900, and the Country Coach Prevost XL Bus Conversion. The company also designs and makes the exclusive DynoMax chassis.
Sources: Country Coach and The Associated Press