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Archbrook Laguna Facing Cash Crunch

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

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

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