WES Construction files for Chapter 11 reorganization

Dramatically shrinking revenues led WES Construction of Reno to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Reno on July 6.

In 2007, WES Construction, a general engineering contractor licensed in several western states, posted more than $50 million in revenues. By 2008 that number had dropped to $24.3 million, and in the first two quarters of 2009 WES showed revenues of $4.83 million.

Bankruptcy court records show that WES Construction had assets of $8.19 million at the time of its Chapter 11 filing, mostly the remainder of a $16 million loan it secured in 2005 from MB Financial Bank of Rosemont, Ill. The company's liabilities totaled $20.7 million, including $12.5 million in unsecured debts. Records show that WES Construction had been operating under strict control by its lender and had petitioned the court to use money from its remaining cash assets to make its $32,698 weekly payroll.

WES Construction's largest creditors are MB Financial, owed more than $8 million, Randi Walker, owed just over $5 million, and Roy Walker, owed $4.8 million. Roy Walker is listed as a director of the company, which is headed by Peter Griffin. Bankruptcy filings show the company has more than one hundred creditors.

WES Construction has sought to sell two diesel trucks and three storage trailers to A&K Earthmovers, and agreed to sell a company pickup truck to a private party. Additionally, the company has contracted Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers to liquidate a large portion of heavy equipment, such as loaders, excavators and accessories. Net proceeds from the auction, to be held at Ritchie Bros. Dunnigan, Calif., auction yard, are estimated to be $287,320.

One of the largest construction companies in Reno, WES Construction, founded in 1976, performs site preparation for development, utility work and maintenance, civil site work and excavation and grading of building pads. It also has contracted work for rockery and other types of retaining walls and also provides trucking and aggregate sales.

Its offices are at 415 Parr Circle.

Alan R. Smith is representing WES Construction in federal bankruptcy court. The reorganization will be overseen by Judge Gregg W. Zive.


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