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The Times 100: CALIFORNIA'S TOP COMPANIES | COMPANY
PROFILES

Reddi Brake Supply Corp.

No. 1, Falling Behind

May 06, 1997|CHRIS CHI

Reddi Brake Supply Corp. has hit the skids.

The Ventura-based brake parts distributor entered bankruptcy proceedings in March and shuttered its 84 warehouses indefinitely.

The 18-year-old company, which sells automobile undercarriage parts to mechanics, had grown rapidly, expanding from 11 to 99 outlets between 1993 and 1995. But the speedy expansion ran into problems.

Company executives said an inefficient computer system and inadequate employee training procedures hurt performance. Meanwhile, about $10 million in unsold inventory sat on shelves, and credit problems arose.

Four unsecured trade creditors initiated this spring's bankruptcy proceedings. The company posted an $8.6-million loss in 1996.

Reddi has agreed to sell the operating assets of its main unit, Reddi Brake Supply Co., to Express Parts Warehouse of Raleigh, N.C., for about $6.2 million to pay bank debts, unpaid wages and unsecured creditors. The company's stock has recently traded at about 1.5 cents a share on Nasdaq, down from a 52-week high of $2.75.

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