Posted by: Patrick Barbanes | December 9, 2008

Conflicting Statements from BofA and Republic Windows

I’m confused. (Or am I just dense?) Compare BofA’s statement with the timeline and statements from Republic Windows:

From BofA’s website:
http://newsroom.bankofamerica.com/index.php?s=press_releases&item=8312
Bank of America Issues Statement Regarding Republic Windows and Doors

CHICAGO – Bank of America today issued the following statement regarding Republic Windows and Doors:

“We agree with the statements of public officials that Republic Windows and Doors should do all it can to honor its obligations to its employees and minimize the impact of failure on those employees.
We are reaching out to the management and ownership of the company to see what they can do to help resolve this issue.
As a creditor of the company, we continue to honor all of our agreements with the company and have provided the maximum amount of funding we can under the terms of our agreement.
By any objective measure, Republic Windows and Doors is unable to operate profitably given the challenges of the current economic climate and its industry. Public statements by management of the company have made this clear.
When a company faces such a dire situation, its lender is not empowered to direct the company’s management how to manage its affairs and what obligations should be paid. Such decisions belong to the management and owners of the company.
Bank of America has worked with the company and shared our concerns about the company’s situation and its operations for the past several months. It is unfortunate that the company has been unable to reverse its declining circumstances. “

Note how BofA slyly sets their tone by “agreeing” with public officials about Republic Windows’ responsibility to honor its obligations. But in any case, here’s apparently a timeline shared by Republic. From the Chicago Sun-Times:
http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/1319712,blagojevich-bank-of-america-sit-in-120808.article

Republic executives issued a statement Monday outlining their efforts to wind down operations over several months. Bank of America, they said, insisted on a quicker shutdown.

Timeline
Oct. 15 — Republic Windows & Doors tells Bank of America that Republic had a party committed as of Oct. 24 to assume the company’s $3 million in debt. Bank of America rejects the offer, demands a plan for an “orderly” wind down of Republic.

Oct. 16 — Republic presents a plan for ceasing its manufacturing in January 2009 and tells Bank of America of possible worker notice issues and vacation pay covered by the WARN Act, which helps ensure advance notice of plant closings and mass layoffs.

Oct. 18 — Bank of America demands a shorter shut-down period.

Oct. 27 — Republic presents a new plan to cease operations in January.

Oct. 29 — Bank of America rejects it.

Nov. 25 — Republic requests permission to issue vacation pay to all employees.

Nov. 26 — Bank of America rejects the request.

That timeline conveniently leaves out the Nov. 18 filing of articles of incorporation of Echo Windows LLC by the wife of the owner of Republic Windows (the Gilman’s), and the subsequent purchase by Echo of a division of Traco windows and the factory in Iowa.

But, still, I’m confused.

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