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Creditors Back Restructuring, Nortek Claims

Providence, R.I. – Privately held Nortek said its debt holders approved a prepackaged
reorganization plan that would swap most of the company’s debt for equity.

The company’s next step is to file Chapter 11 to get the approval
of a bankruptcy court to execute the agreement. Under the restructuring, about
$1.3 billion out of a total $2.05 billion in debt will be eliminated, the
company said.

Earlier this month, the company secured a commitment for a $250
million asset-based revolving line of credit as part of its prepackaged
reorganization plan.

Company officials have not yet returned calls to explain whether
existing management will remain intact, when Chapter 11 will be filed, or
whether the company’s current owners – management and Thomas H. Lee Partners –
will own a majority of the company after the debt restructuring.

Nortek owns multiple companies that sell products for commercial
and residential installation. In home technology, the company’s brands include
many of the major powers in the residential custom-install industry, such as
Aton, Channel Plus, Elan, Gefen, Imerge,
M&S, Niles, Omnimount, Panamax,
SpeakerCraft, Sunfire and Xantech. The company also owns residential HVAC and
ventilation companies and commercial HVAC suppliers.

Calendar 2008
show pretax losses before income taxes of $819 million, compared
with 2007 earnings of $3.6 million and 2006 earnings of $104 million. In 2008,
the company’s net loss was $844.5 million, compared with a 2007 net loss of
only $7 million.

Also in 2008, the company posted an operating loss of $574
million, compared with an operating profit of $210 million, as company-wide net
sales fell 4.2 percent to $2.37 billion, compared with a 2007 gain of 6.8
percent. At the same time, interest expenses rose to $200 million from $184

financial results
in 2009 show net sales fell 22 percent to $927 million;
operating losses hit $201 million, compared with year-ago earnings of $70
million; interest expenses rose to $76 million from $59 million; and net losses
hit $278 million, compared with a net loss of $400,000. The results followed
cost-reduction measures that saved the company an estimated $39.5 million in
the first half.