Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era
School Specialty files for bankruptcy
BY TIM MEKEEL, Business Editor
An ailing educational products maker filed for bankruptcy Monday and agreed to be acquired by a private equity firm.
School Specialty has agreed to be purchased by Bayside Capital for an undisclosed price.
However, as part of the bankruptcy process, other potential buyers will be able to bid for School Specialty at a court-supervised auction.
In the meantime, Bayside Capital has agreed to lend $50 million to School Specialty so it can operate as usual during the transition to new ownership.
School Specialty said it expects the sale process to be completed in 60 to 90 days.
School Specialty, based in Greenville, Wis., has a Lancaster manufacturing facility and a Mount Joy distribution center.
The company signaled earlier this month that a restructuring might occur, announcing "constructive discussions" were under way with its key lenders.
School Specialty has struggled in recent years.
Though it had a profitable six months ended in October, in the prior fiscal year it lost $134.0 million, preceded by a loss of $356.3 million.
Those difficulties have been reflected in School Specialty's stock price.
The stock closed Friday at 60 cents a share, compared with $3.28 a share on that date a year earlier.
nBayside Capital agrees to buy educational products firm with 2 locations here.