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Best Manufacturing files Chapter 11

Jersey City, N.J. – Best Manufacturing Group, the nation’s largest manufacturer of table linens and napery for the hospitality, healthcare and rental textiles businesses, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection two days ago, listing liabilities of over $100 million and assets of more than $153 million.

Today, the District Court in New Jersey designated the case as a "Complex Chapter 11 case," a distinction made when the case is larger or there are significant numbers of creditors involved. Best said there are more than 2,000 creditors in the case, including vendors and employees.

Also today, the court granted the company an additional 30 days to file its schedule of assets and liabilities as well as its statement of financial affairs.

Although the company maintains it has sufficient liquidity to handle merchandise flow, it said that rapid growth through acquisition and softness in the market prompted the filing. The company’s plan is to move more business to Cambodia, increase off-shore sourcing, close the facilities in King of Prussa, Pa., and Mahwah, N.J., cut back on the manufacturing operation in Cordele, Ga., launch a new hospitality apparel line, and consolidate healthcare and institutional into one division.

"We plan to take full advantage of the opportunities presented by this restructuring to address both our financial and operational issues in order to position our company for long-term success," said chairman Scott Korman.

Best’s top five unsecured creditors include Milliken & Company ($11.2 million), Al Karam ($1.2 million), Springfield LLC/CIT ($826,609), CIT Group/Comm. Services ($815,030) and Mount Vernon (Div.) 96 ($802,506).

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