Ohio firm closes, won't bring almost 100 jobs to Graniteville

AIKEN --- An Ohio-based sign company that announced plans to move to Graniteville last year will instead close, according to a letter sent to vendors and creditors last week.

MCA Industries notified employees on Sept. 24 that it would begin liquidation of assets. Vendors and creditors were notified on Sept. 20, according to the letter.

The three-page letter cited a May electrical fire that halted all operations as one cause for closing. The company also said "high material costs and a lack of an improving economy severely impaired the company's ability to service its vendor obligations on a timely basis."

"The company sincerely regrets the loss caused to each of our valued employees and creditors resulting from the termination of its business. Nonetheless, in light of the plant accident that exacerbated its losses and damaged operations, and despite exhaustive efforts to maintain the company's going concern, the company was left with no choice but to conclude the company's operational and business affairs in a responsible manner," the letter said.

MCA announced a $93 million investment in the Aiken area in December, including acquiring Avondale Mills' 33-acre facility with plans for $3 million in improvements and $4 million in equipment.

The company said it would employ about 95 people to create banners, fliers, posters and other business advertisements. Operations in its hometown of Massillon, Ohio, and a plant in Atlanta were to close, with eight graphic designers telecommuting from Ohio.

Now, the company says it will liquidate assets and hold an auction in the next 60 days to pay creditors, which includes a $6 million loan from Business Carolina Inc. to purchase equipment.

"It is unclear whether the liquidation of the company's remaining assets will generate net proceeds sufficient to fund a pro rata distribution to our unsecured vendors," the letter stated.

The company stated that "commencement of an involuntary bankruptcy case or similar action" was not in the interest of creditors because it would "destroy any possible remaining value."

Roche Management Group LLC, in Corry, Pa., will oversee the liquidation of assets. Calls to representative Hoop Roche and MCA owner Sam Mollet were not returned.

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