Rockland Industries President Mark Berman Explains Financial Difficulties

March 2, 2020

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Rockland Industries President Mark Berman Explains Financial Difficulties

BALTIMORE --Rockland Industries President Mark Berman explains in a letter its financial difficulties and how it is seeking investors. 

Although he does not specifically address its South Carolina factory, Berman wrote: "While there have in fact been some layoffs, and will be more in the coming weeks, Rockland continues to operate on a reduced basis and is filling orders and shipping goods."

Prior to the letter, F&FI reported Rockland, which is based in Baltimore, Maryland, was closing its manufacturing plant in Bamberg, South Carolina.
Read the story here (https://www.fabricsandfurnishings.com/contract-hospitality-news/Rockland-Industries-Recapitalizes-Closes-South-Carolina-Plant.html).

Here is the letter sent out on Feb. 28, 2020. 

"There are a lot of rumors going around about Rockland's status. I cannot predict the future but I do want to set the record straight about what happened and our current status.

"On February 14, Rockland was told unexpectedly by its bank that effective immediately the bank would not continue to fund Rockland's operations at the level necessary for Rockland to continue to operate in its normal course of business. As a result, and consistent with its obligations under the WARN Act, Rockland notified its employees in the Bamberg manufacturing facilities that they were facing layoffs. The WARN Act also required notification to the State of South Carolina. This was picked up by the local newspapers.

"While there have in fact been some layoffs and will be more in the coming weeks, Rockland continues to operate on a reduced basis and is filling orders and shipping goods.

"More importantly, immediately after the call from the bank on the 14th, Rockland intensified its efforts to find a new lender and initiated contact with potential investors and acquirers. Those efforts have taken virtually all of our senior administrative staff's waking hours. Discussions are ongoing with a number of interested parties. While I am not free to disclose with whom we are talking, several are well known names in the industry. The coronavirus has focused many of these entities on securing a domestic production source.

"Although I cannot predict the ultimate outcome, our plan is to continue to operate on a reduced basis, to the extent the bank's limited funding will permit, while pursuing a transaction that will allow Rockland to return to full operations and take advantage of our strong marketing, manufacturing know-how, and brand name, as soon as possible.

"I want to thank our employees, suppliers, and customers for their understanding and the many kind words of support during this difficult time. We are trying our best to achieve the best possible outcome for all concerned."


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