After string of acquisitions, Kentwood manufacturing group files for Ch. 11 bankruptcy

After string of acquisitions, Kentwood manufacturing group files for Ch. 11 bankruptcy

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KENTWOOD — A Grand Rapids-area manufacturing group that made significant investments in the casino gaming machine industry has filed for bankruptcy after accumulating more than $10 million in debt.

TG Manufacturing LLC on Feb. 21 filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Western District of Michigan. The company, which is headquartered at 4720 44th St. SE in Kentwood, includes West Michigan-based subsidiaries A.I.M. Tool & Die, AIM Industries, Craft Steel, and Dorr Industries. TG Manufacturing also owns Tupelo Tool & Die in Tupelo, Miss.

Rich Achtenberg

Affiliated companies TGM Coatings LLC and TG Turnkey LLC also filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Feb. 21, while TG Integration LLC — with hopes of retaining financial solvency — filed on March 27.

Owned by Richard Achtenberg with a total of 36 employees, the four companies are represented by Grand Rapids-based bankruptcy and commercial litigation law firm Keller & Almassian PLC. A bankruptcy judge approved a motion to jointly administer the cases this week.

TG Manufacturing seeks to sell all of the entities as a going concern and has held discussions with multiple interested parties, according to an affidavit and sworn statement by President Kevin Kyle.

TG Manufacturing has shut its doors while TGM Coatings, TG Turnkey and TG Integration remain operational, according to court filings.

Attempts to reach TG Manufacturing were unsuccessful, and Keller & Almassian Partner Todd Almassian declined to comment for this story.

Major pivot

TG Manufacturing specializes in manufacturing material handling and automotive components. Court documents revealed that, at its height, the company generated as much as $20 million in annual revenue.

According to Kyle’s affidavit filed with the court, the company in 2020 lost a contract with a “major customer,” leading to a steep drop in sales. As the COVID-19 pandemic descended on the United States in March 2020, the automotive industry was hit especially hard as vehicle production and its underlying supply chain encountered widespread disruptions.

TG Manufacturing then leaned into a growing segment of its business with the production of casino gaming and entertainment machines, according to the affidavit.

To position itself in the market, TG Manufacturing in June 2020 acquired the gaming machine integration division of Grand Rapids-based Turnkey Fabrication LLC, which operated a 20,000-square-foot facility in Grand Rapids and supplied businesses in the gaming sector across North America, as MiBiz previously reported. That division was then organized under the TG Integration banner.

​​“Gaming machine production is an exciting sector to be in with tremendous growth potential globally and we are excited to offer some of the most vertically integrated products in the industry,” Achtenberg said when announcing the deal last summer.

The company began its vertical integration strategy in the casino gaming sector the year before when it acquired Grand Rapids-based A2Z Powder Coating, which served as a supplier to the automotive, material handling and gaming industries. The three affiliated entities — TGM Coatings, TG Turnkey and TG Integration — worked together to vertically integrate the process of producing gaming machines.

Similar to the dynamic that played out in the auto industry, the COVID-19 pandemic also rattled the casino industry as brick-and-mortar casinos were temporarily shut down under public health measures.

Prior to the downturn, TG Manufacturing, TGM Coatings and TG Turnkey sought to shore up their finances and tapped Bank of America in 2019 for a $5 million line of credit and a term loan of $2 million, according to court documents. This financing was secured by the assets of all three entities and also personally guaranteed by Achtenberg.

The entities defaulted on the loan, and in January of this year, Bank of America filed a complaint in state court seeking a court-appointed receiver. The three companies owe Bank of America roughly $6.2 million upon the time of filing, according to court documents.

Debt mounts

To compound its financial woes, TG Manufacturing also was named in several civil suits in Kent County Circuit Court for unpaid bills that have led to sizable judgments against the company. Over the last year, the company has faced nearly a dozen civil complaints in circuit court.

TG Manufacturing has experienced multiple judgments in favor of the company’s suppliers, including $1.5 million for Benteler Automotive Corp., $561,029 for Chicago-based steel fabricator Lafayette Steel and Aluminum, and $96,563 for Birmingham, Ala.-based industrial supply company GBA Supply Inc. All are classified as unsecured claims in TG Manufacturing’s filing.

Below is a snapshot of each entity’s financial condition:

TG Manufacturing

  • Assets: $1.6 million
  • Liabilities: $10.2 million ($6.2 million secured; $4 million unsecured)
  • Secured creditors: Bank of America ($6.2 million)
  • Highest unsecured claims (local creditors): Grand Rapids-based Spectrum E-Coat ($49,944.13); Grand Haven Township ($47,294.30); Greenville-based FabX Industries ($46,505.92); Grand Rapids-based United Fastener and Supply Co. ($36,770.72)

TG Turnkey

  • Assets: $999,057
  • Liabilities: $7,863,501.89 ($6.2 million secured; $1.6 million unsecured)
  • Secured creditors: Bank of America ($6.2 million); Michigan Department of Treasury ($15,214.81)
  • Highest unsecured claims (local creditors):  Greenville-based LaserTec Sheet Metal Fab ($96,433.87); Grand Rapids-based Machine Star ($32,098.14) and Advance Plating and Finishing ($27,756.50); Wyoming-based Purity Cylinder Gases ($28,181.12)

TGM Coatings

  • Assets: $249,439.00
  • Liabilities: $6.2 million ($6.2 million secured; $33,268.01 unsecured)
  • Secured creditors: Bank of America ($6.2 million)
  • Highest unsecured claims (local creditors): Grand Rapids-based J&L Roofing ($800); Jenison-based Arrowaste ($769.03); Purity Cylinder Gases ($667.82)

TG Integration

  • Assets: $538,067.00
  • Liabilities: $123,290.80 (all unsecured)
  • Highest unsecured claims (local creditors): Arrowaste ($2,207.25); Advance Plating and Finishing ($1,588.54)

While TG Integration initially sought to avoid a Chapter 11 filing, “based on developments that have occurred since the initial cases were filed, it has become apparent that Integration would also need to file a chapter 11 proceeding,” which occurred on March 27, according to Kyle’s affidavit.

The affidavit also stated that the three entities still open are in “immediate need for the use of cash collateral” to continue business operations. If they are not granted that right, the affidavit claims the company would suffer “irreparable harm” that could tarnish its going concern value.