Archbrook Laguna Facing Cash Crunch

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Carlstadt, N.J. - CE and housewares distributor Archbrook Laguna is searching for new financing or ownership amid a liquidity squeeze.

The privately held business, which maintains distribution centers here and in Atlanta and Reno, Nev., has engaged investment bankers and other advisors to help it secure outside capital or find a new owner, interim chief financial officer Dan Boverman told TWICE.

The company has also filed precautionary WARN notices (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification), as required by law, with the labor departments of New Jersey and Georgia, alerting them to the possible closure of its facilities in those states and the resulting layoffs of 242 employees.

The notices read in part that Archbrook Laguna has experienced "significant financial distress over the last few months and it is unclear what the future holds."

Boverman said the company managed to ride out the recession "quite well," generating $800 million in sales in 2010, but more recently encountered "a variety of factors" that impacted its liquidity.

The distributor, which changed its name from BDI-Laguna in 2008, recently

sold its 60 percent stake

in Expert Warehouse, the distribution arm of the BrandSource buying group. Boverman said Archbrook Laguna has agreed to sell certain inventories to BrandSource, which will help the distributor's cash position.

BrandSource has since tapped global IT and CE distributer Ingram Micro to handle its warehousing program.


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