Judge to act on final sale of RG Steel assets

The path leading toward a potentially positive future for the former RG Steel owned Wheeling Corrugating plant in Beech Bottom is showing no signs of life in the offing, as a federal bankruptcy court judge is expected to act on a motion requesting consummation of the sale of the last remaining assets of the 122 year old company – real property there and at another location in Benwood.

The proposed sale price is $4.4 M, less outstanding and delinquent real estate taxes.

A hearing on the request, which centers on transacting the sale of approximately 617 acres in Wellsburg to State Route 2 LLC, has been rescheduled for 2 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 20.

The proposed sale does not include any change of ownership to the mineral rights of the property.

Objections to the proposed action are to be filed with the court no later than Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 4 p.m. The bidding company hoping to gain the court’s approval of the proposed sale is not one widely known in this region despite it having apparent local business connections through its legal counsel’s resources of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe at 2121 Main Street, Wheeling.

The purchaser of the real property at the Beech Bottom site is referred to in court documents as “State Route 2, a West Virginia Corporation” with apparent roots in Santa Monica, Calif.’s financial and business district and with some aspects of the business community in this region.

The company’s CEO and CFO are referenced in the action by title only. The only name affiliated with State Route 2 LLC in the motion is a person listed as an authorized recipient.

Several months ago, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Kevin J. Carey had approved the sale of the Wheeling Corrugating equipment, and all intellectual property related to production being sold to Consolidated Environmental Management Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Nucor Corp., a Delaware corporation.

At that time a request to terminate the labor contract was approved by the court.

Nucor’s subsidiary paid an aggregate price of $7 M for the Wheeling Corrugating assets.

Throughout these federal bankruptcy proceedings, employees of each of the former RG Steel facilities are seldom heard from directly, however, early on in this case, the employees of Wheeling corrugating shared their concerns and position with Judge Carey through a document filed with the court on June 7, 2012.

“The employees of Wheeling Corrugating are reaching out to you because we feel we may not be properly represented in this bankruptcy proceeding. Perhaps we do not have the right to be represented, but we wish to write you nonetheless.

“Wheeling Corrugating is a 122-year old company that manufactures steel roofing and siding, steel decking, and stay-in-place steel bridge forms. We are a small company that has battled through five ownership changes, several union strikes, and now three bankruptcies. Please keep in mind that all of these challenges were not created by Wheeling Corrugating, but by the entities that owned us. We struggled, but we were strong and survived.

“This company has become part of the fabric of the Nation. We have supplied steel to high-rise buildings, schools, and hospitals from Alaska to New York. After the tragic 9/11 attacks, it was our small West Virginia company that was selected to supply the decking to World trade Center towers 1, 2, 3, 4 and 7, to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, the WTC Transportation Hub and Vehicular Security Center. We likely supplied material to your favorite ballpark or stadium. Driving through rural America, you will see our steel roofing and siding on homes and agricultural buildings. We supply steel bridge forms to the majority of bridges in the United States, including the Hoover Dam Bypass.”

The letter was simply signed as from the employees of Wheeling Corrugating.