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Trucking Firm P-I-E to Close, Sell Off Assets

December 16, 1990|From Associated Press

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Ailing P-I-E International announced Saturday that it will shut down the nationwide trucking corporation within three weeks and begin liquidating assets.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge George L. Proctor approved the plan in a brief hearing after P-I-E's attorney said a weak economy and less-than-projected revenues over the last five weeks made the outlook bleak.

"There was no light at the end of the tunnel," attorney Steve Busey said. "The company determined there was no real prospect of a successful reorganization."

P-I-E has been struggling since it and parent Olympia Holding Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization two months ago, listing debts of $237 million and assets of $169 million.

Prior to the filing, P-I-E operated 230 terminals and employed 3,500 workers, 800 of them at the company's Jacksonville base.

After two months of scaling down--with the elimination of 1,500 jobs and 69 terminals Friday--P-I-E now employs about 2,000 people and operates about 100 terminals. Cuts were expected to continue through P-I-E's final weeks, Busey said.

Proctor last month granted P-I-E the operating funds to stay in business through Saturday, but he said the company would have to demonstrate benefits for the company and its creditors to get any more money.

Under the court-approved liquidation plan, the company would continue to operate under Chapter 11 during the two to three weeks it takes to deliver the remaining freight in its warehouses.

Then a court-appointed trustee, scheduled to be named by Proctor Dec. 29, will supervise the liquidation of the company's assets.

The liquidation plan comes after weeks of pressure from anxious creditors, including Fidelcor Business Credit Corp. P-I-E owes Fidelcor $39 million.

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