Weirton Steel Seeks Protection of Chapter 11
Weirton, WV— Weirton Steel Corp. announced it has
filed a voluntary petition for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the
U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The company filed the petition May 19, 2003 in the
U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of West Virginia in Wheeling.
Weirton Steel emphasized that normal operations and
customer service will continue without disruption. The company has secured
a $225 million debtor-in-possession financing facility to furnish sufficient
working capital for its operations.
"Weirton Steel is at a crossroads in its history.
We must become as competitive as possible and return to profitability
so that we can invest in our facilities and pursue strategic growth. Reorganization
will stabilize our financial outlook, achieve vital cost savings and help
us become a stronger, more competitive company," said John H. Walker,
Weirton Steel president and chief executive officer.
Weirton Steel will maintain control and possession of
its assets, instead of having a court-appointed trustee operate the company.
The new DIP financing secured by the company was provided by Fleet Capital
Corp., Chicago, as agent, and the rest of Weirton Steel's current bank
lending group, and a new term lender, Manchester Securities, New York
"Weirton Steel remains a viable business that is
deeply committed to our employees, the city of Weirton and the state of
West Virginia. We are taking this step to preserve our company and jobs
that benefit residents of West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania. In reorganization,
we will be working to develop a plan to keep our core operations and facilities
intact," Walker commented.
"We expect the court to approve our request to
continue to pay all salaries and wages."
Weirton Steel also is seeking court approval to form
a retiree committee to assist the company in addressing the legacy cost