Dayton Superior leaves bankruptcy, looks ahead to new HQ

WASHINGTON TWP.— Dayton Superior Corp. has emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection with less debt, lower interest costs and what will soon be a new local home, its chief executive said Wednesday, Oct. 28.

“There’s no question about it,” said Eric Zimmerman, Dayton Superior’s CEO, when asked if the non-residential concrete construction products company can weather what he acknowledged is a “horrible” construction market.

The construction market is off by about 50 percent from last year, Zimmerman said. It could fall another 25 percent next year.

But the company is less burdened by debt and interest, he said.

“We had almost $160 million worth of subordinated bond debt that was due in June this year,” he said. Unable to obtain that credit, the company sought protection in April.

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Today, the firm has two-thirds less debt, Zimmerman said. Annual interest costs have been cut from about $50 million a year to $15 million.

“We are the most conservatively capitalized we’ve every been in the last 25 years,” Zimmerman said.

The company has 125 local employees today, down slightly from about 140 in April. The company still has about 1,200 total employees.

The company did cut jobs in the last half of 2008 as company leaders watched “the market go south on us,” Zimmerman said. In June 2008, Dayton Superior had some 2,000 employees total.

Dayton Superior is consolidating its Miamisburg distribution operation and its Washington Village Drive headquarters into a new, 72,000-square-foot building being raised at 1125 Byers Road in Miamisburg.

About 40,000 square feet of the company’s new home will be office space, Zimmerman said. (Some 90 percent of the company’s local employees are tied to the firm’s headquarters operations, he added.)

At its April filing, the company listed assets of $286 million against liabilities of $413 million.

Under the restructuring, $161 million of pre-bankruptcy debt notes were converted into “new stock of the reorganized company” and $70 million in debt obligations were paid down, resulting in total reduction of more than two-thirds of the company’s pre-bankruptcy debt, the company said.

All Dayton Superior common shares have been cancelled, with no recovery, the company said.

Contact this reporter at (937) 225-2390 or tgnau@DaytonDailyNews.com.

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