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Ormet loses another $4 million in June, nears $150 million in total losses

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Ormet loses another $4 million in June, nears $150 million in total losses

Ormet lost another $4 million in June and is approaching total losses of $150 million as the bankrupt US aluminum producer unwinds its business after filing for Chapter 11 federal bankruptcy reorganization 17 months ago.




In a filing late Thursday with the US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, Hannibal, Ohio-based Ormet said it lost $25.1 million in the first half of 2014 after running up nearly $123 million in red ink in the final 10 months of last year following its February 25, 2013, bankruptcy filing. In May, the company lost $3.58 million.

Ormet reported no revenue in June after compiling just $492,000 of revenue in May, leaving year-to-date revenue at $27 million.

Ormet also recorded no sow sales in June, not surprising since the company's 260,000 mt/year Hannibal smelter in southeastern Ohio has been idle since October. Ormet last reported sow sales -- a mere $105,000 -- in January.

Ormet said it had cash and cash equivalents of $6.3 million at the end of June, down roughly $700,000 from the $7 million it had at the close of May.

Lawyers likely will spend the next several months unwinding Ormet's corporate structure after Judge Mary Walrath Thursday endorsed Ormet's request to sell the smelter for $25.25 million to Niagara Worldwide LLC, a Wisconsin investment company that was the highest bidder in a court-supervised auction last month.

The smelter was the last remaining major asset of Ormet, which entered the alumina and aluminum production business in 1956. In 1957, construction began on the Hannibal smelter and a 540,000 mt/year alumina refinery in Burnside, Louisiana, that was sold earlier this year to Germany's Almatis GmbH for $39.5 million.

Ormet filed for Chapter 11 for the first time in 2004, exiting bankruptcy in 2005. Soon after, a turnaround specialist, Ken Campbell, was named Ormet's interim CEO. He ceded that position in 2007 to Mike Tanchuk, whose efforts to secure cheaper power for the smelter so it could be profitable and remain in operation, proved unsuccessful. Tanchuk left Ormet last year.

--Bob Matyi,
--Edited by Valarie Jackson,