Nearly six months after abruptly shuttering its doors, United Furniture Industries, Inc. (UFI), has begun the process of selling off its Lane Furniture real estate assets as part of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.
The company enlisted B. Riley Real Estate, LLC, to handle the sale of 14 properties located throughout Mississippi and North Carolina spanning a total of 5 million square feet and more than 700 acres. The facilities include manufacturing plants, warehouses, lumber yards and other structures and vacant land.
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Stalking horse bids will be accepted through May 12, 2023. The portfolio will be sold at a concluding auction, tentatively scheduled for late June 2023. Formal bidding and sale procedures were filed with, and are subject to the approval of the bankruptcy court.
UFI suddenly shut down on Nov. 21, sending an email to employees informing them of immediate termination with no continuing benefits, including COBRA. In the days following the closure, several class action and individual lawsuits were filed on behalf of employees terminated by the company. Those suits alleged the company violated the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act by not giving workers 60 days notice of termination and requested the standard 60 days’ pay as outlined by the WARN Act.
In December, UFI was served with a civil lawsuit by DFW LinQ Transport Inc., which alleged that more than 44,000 pounds of copper wire were supposed to be delivered to Southwire in Starkville, Miss., by UFI Transportation. The shipment brokered by DFW LinQ never reached its destination after the company’s shutdown.
In early January, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Mississippi following an emergency motion filed on Dec. 30 by Wells Fargo seeking involuntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy for UFI, which owed the bank $99.2 million in secured debt. Following Wells Fargo’s emergency motion filed on Dec. 30 seeking involuntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy for UFI, another creditor, Renasant Bank, filed a similar motion seeking repayment of $12 million in loans.