Reorganization Sale Not Expected to Affect Pine Bluff Stant Plant

The Stant Manufacturing Inc. plant in Pine Bluff is expected to be sold next week, but a company spokesman said the sale is a procedural move as part of the parent company’s reorganization and would have no effect on the plant that employs about 320 workers.

The parent company, Stant Corp. of Connersville, Ind., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July. Stant makes automotive and industrial fuel, oil and radiator caps for the original equipment markets and the automotive aftermarket.

On Sept. 15, a Delaware court approved the purchase of Stant’s assets by Vapor Acquisition Corp., an affiliate of H.I.G. Capital LLC of Miami, a $7.5 billion private equity firm. H.I.G. had bought Stant Corp. in June 2008 from Tomkins PLC.

In 2007, Stant had annual sales of $179 million.

Stant expects to complete the sale this month and immediately return to normal operations of the business, emerging from the Chapter 11 in less than 75 days.

Charlie Probasco, director of lean manufacturing for Stant, said the sale of the Pine Bluff plant is simply a legal procedure with no transfer of assets.

When Stant emerges from the reorganization, it will have a new name, Stant USA Corp. An announcement is expected next week.

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