Richmond equipment company seeks to restructure debt

Interstate Equipment Sales and Rental of Richmond has filed for bankruptcy protection, looking to restructure its debt as part of a turnaround plan.

The company, which was incorporated in 1994, buys, sells, leases and repairs heavy-construction equipment. It operates sales and service centers in Richmond and Lockland, Ohio.

"Since the fall of 2008, the (company) has experienced cash flow problems attributable to the nation's economic downturn," the filing stated, noting that sales plummeted from $59.86 million in fiscal year 2008 to $24.27 million in fiscal year 2009. "The demand for heavy construction equipment has fallen substantially, as have the market values for ... existing inventory. Similarly, demand for (its) service department has waned."

The filing stated that the company is implementing a turnaround plan that will reduce costs and improve operations.

W. Thomas Bunch Sr., attorney for the company, said it's negotiating and seeking a permanent court order to allow continued normal operations.

The company has 22 employees and two contract laborers, according to its filing.

The Jan. 29 filing indicates that the company has estimated secured assets worth $9.63 million and total debts of $16.87 million. Of those debts, $14.53 million are in secured claims, according to the filing.

Under its personal property, the company lists $7.56 million in inventory.