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Court OKs Chapter 11 revamping of Ramsey
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Court OKs Chapter 11 revamping of Ramsey

The bankruptcy plan for reorganization would preserve local jobs.

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Ramsey Industries Inc. will be staying in business after its reorganization plan was approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Tulsa.

The Tulsa-based winch manufacturer filed for bankruptcy protection in December, listing more than $100 million in debt, but company officials say they have a plan to save the company and keep its 140 local employees.

The bankruptcy stemmed from an untimely purchase by the investment group Gridiron Capital in 2007, when the economy was still strong.

The reorganization plan was approved this month, and CEO and President John Celoni said Ramsey has managed to keep all of its customers and partners during the process.

"Our goal was to restructure and recapitalize and everybody from our customers to our lenders came through to help us," Celoni said.

Ramsey Industries owns Ramsey Winch Co., Auto Crane Co. and Olathe, Kan.-based Eskridge Inc., which makes winches and installs cranes on trucks.

Most of Ramsey's customers are in the manufacturing and construction industries, which have been down significantly in the last two years.

Celoni said Ramsey simply needed to restructure its debt and has a long-term plan for it to keep operating.

"The economic conditions have not changed significantly, but we are positioned well for future opportunities," he said.

Ramsey Industries, based at 4707 N. Mingo Road, has been in Tulsa since 1944, when it started as aerospace supplier Douglas Aircraft Co. The company was sold in 2007 to Gridiron Capital.

The Kansas company, Eskridge, has about 34 employees.

Celoni was hired to take over the company in May 2009, replacing Bruce Barron.


Kyle Arnold 581-8380

kyle.arnold@tulsaworld.com SUBHEAD: The bankruptcy plan for reorganization would preserve local jobs.

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