Renegade plant to close Tuesday night

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MOCKSVILLE, N.C. (Winston-Salem Journal) — A 15-year run of making discount cigarettes will come to an end Tuesday night for three defunct Mocksville tobacco companies.

Peter Tourtellot, bankruptcy trustee for Renegade Holdings Inc., Renegade Tobacco Co. and Alternative Brands Inc., on Monday confirmed the production end – five days after the decision was announced to liquidate the companies. The companies have 83 employees, including 70 in production.

Tourtellot served as the companies’ overseer for about four years. The companies entered bankruptcy protection in January 2009.

The 20-minute hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court had a somber tone.

A week ago, the hearing could have been the final step in the companies emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection with a new owner paying $25 million to mostly wipe clean their operational and financial slates.

Instead, the attorneys for both parties began what is likely the companies’ post-mortem. All attempts to keep the companies from going into Chapter 7 were withdrawn.

The National Association of Attorneys General and unsecured creditor GE Capital Corp. had raised questions in separate legal filings about whether the sale would accomplish the goal of fully repaying creditors and allowing the companies to be competitive after bankruptcy.

The companies’ fate was sealed when a French buyer could not work out an agreement with GE Capital involving receivables and an equipment lease with PTM Technologies, a bankrupt Renegade affiliate.

“The whole premise” for the second amendment to the second reorganization plan “was contingent on Globe 360 Tobacco Inc.’s purchase,” said John Northen, Renegade’s attorney. Judge William Stocks already had rejected the previous exit plan for being unsustainable.

Read full story: The Winston-Salem Journal