Apr 02, 2001

Republic Technologies International Announces Plans to Reorganize Under Chapter 11

FAIRLAWN, Ohio – April 2, 2001 – Republic Technologies International, LLC, the nation’s largest producer of special bar quality steel, today announced that it has filed to reorganize under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. Republic filed a voluntary petition today in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Akron, Ohio.

Republic has a commitment for $420 million in debtor-in-possession financing from its existing lending group that will enable it to continue normal operations.

“We intend to complete this reorganization as soon as possible, and to emerge stronger than ever,” said Joseph F. Lapinsky, Republic’s president and chief executive officer. “Although our cash flow from operations has been positive for four straight quarters, we took this step because extremely difficult market conditions have made it impossible for us to meet our financial obligations. Chapter 11 will give us the opportunity to restructure these obligations.

“We are communicating with our customers, our employees and our suppliers today to make clear that we are making and shipping steel,” Lapinsky added. “But this reorganization will require major changes. We are committed to provide the best quality and service available to our customers, and we’ve asked our employees to focus on the customer like never before. We’re confident they will rise to the challenge.

“We are still the nation’s leading supplier of special bar quality steel, with the largest market share in the industry and the best technical expertise. We will continue to capitalize on that position as we reorganize.”

Republic has retained Lazard Fréres, a globally prominent financial advisory firm, to help direct its reorganization.

The company has alerted its employees that it expects to secure immediate approval from the Bankruptcy Court to continue paying wages and benefits. Republic also intends to continue its benefit programs for retirees.

Republic Technologies International, based in Fairlawn, Ohio, is the nation’s largest producer of high-quality steel bars. With 4,600 employees and 2000 sales of nearly $1.3 billion, Republic was included in Forbes magazine’s 2000 and 1999 lists of the largest U.S. private companies. Republic operates plants in Canton, Massillon, and Lorain, Ohio; Beaver Falls, Pa.; Chicago and Harvey, Ill.; Gary, Ind.; Lackawanna, N.Y.; Cartersville, Ga.; Willimantic, Conn.; and Hamilton, Ont. The company’s products are used in demanding applications in the automotive, agricultural, aerospace, off-highway, industrial machinery and energy industries.