Pennsylvania Battery Company Owes State Money Following Bankruptcy
Aquion Energy Inc., a Pittsburgh battery company that has a manufacturing facility in Westmoreland County, filed for bankruptcy last week and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development released a statement that it intends to try and recover funds the company owes it.
The state was reportedly the company’s top creditor. The loans were secured by collateral, but what that collateral was has not been publicly released.
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“Aquion was current on all of its loan payments and made payments as recently as last week,” an article on the Trib Live website reads.
How much the company still owes is unknown.
About 80 percent of Aquion employees were let go after the company filed for Chapter 11 on March 8 because the company failed to raise enough money to keep running. The factory has closed its doors.
Aquion representatives have said the company hopes to find a buyer for its assets.
“State incentives helped keep Aquion in Western Pennsylvania in 2012 when the company was looking for a place to expand and build a factory,” the article reads. “The company received $8.6 million in grants and another $8 million in loans from the state, according to DCED’s investment tracker tool. Aquion’s bankruptcy filing listed the $8.6 million in grants.”
Aquion had reportedly failed to live up to a promise it made the state that it would create 341 jobs on top of the 70 employees it already had. The company also promised to invest at least $64.4 million in private money into the factory.
According to Trib Live, as of February 2016, Aquion had created 50 more jobs and secured $108.4 million in private investment. The company asked for a two-year extension to fulfill its promise and was granted a one-year extension instead. The company’s extension expires at the end of March and the state will then reassess its progress.
Governor Tom Wolf, who was not in office when Aquion received state funding, is calling for tighter accountability from businesses that receive state funding.
“In his 2017-18 budget proposal, Wolf … recommended tighter controls on state funding for economic development projects,” the article reads. “Wolf proposed forcing companies that receive state grants to maintain newly created jobs for five years and stay in the state for at least eight years. If a company fails to create the jobs it promised, it will have to repay the grant. If the company moves out of state, it must repay the grant plus a 10 percent penalty.”
☑ Been paying credit card balances that seem to never go down?
☑ Lost your job and are now having trouble keeping up?
☑ Attempted to work out a payment arrangement to no avail?
☑ Been notified of a mortgage foreclosure action?
☑ Been denied for a mortgage or other line of credit?
If the answer to any of these questions is “yes” then bankruptcy may be an option that you should consider.