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USG Corp. said the anemic construction industry is forcing it to defer debt payments, restructure finances and sell a major subsidiary.

The company, one of the nation's largest building products manufacturers, said it would not make a $105 million payment on principal that was due Monday, putting it technically in default and subject to court action by lenders.

USG said, however, that major bank lenders have agreed to go along with the restructuring plan while it continues to make interest payments on the $105 million.

The company also said it will not make interest payments due Jan. 15 on $40 million worth of bonds.

The company said in a statement that it does not intend to file for protection under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code.

USG said that as part of its restructuring it will offer for sale DAP Inc., a producer of caulks and other specialty chemical products. DAP had annual sales of $186 million in 1989, with an operating profit of $12 million.

USG said it also is seeking an investor willing to give the company a major infusion.

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