Bison Building Materials, in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, reported today it incurred a $506,038 net loss in November on a continued decline in revenues and an uptick in debts over 91 days past due. The latest numbers boosts the net losses at Bison, America's 14th-biggest LBM operation, to $2.9 million since it filed for protection from creditors on June 28.
The loss occurred even though Houston-based Bison cut its general and administrative costs by roughly $1 million, to $2.3 million, in November from its report for the June 28-to-July 31 period. In addition, Bison reduced its inventory over that period by more than $800,000, to nearly $15.3 million as of Nov. 30.
However, during that same period monthly revenues have fallen 63.3% to $7.6 million. Just from October, revenues were down 21.3%. Meanwhile, collections have gotten tougher; the percentage of accounts receivable at least 91 days past due stood at 12.2% of the $11.4 million due. Before November, debts in the 91+ days category ranged from 10.2% to 10.7% of the total.
All these shortfalls pile on top of the $16.1 million in losses that Bison recorded during the fiscal year ended last April 30. Its income situation for May and most of June haven't been reported. Bison was the No. 14 company on the this year's ProSales 100, with 2008 revenues of $271 million, all of it to pros. In court filings, Bison said its problems came after it began to expand along the Interstate 35 corridor in 2005 and then into Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Ohio and New Mexico. When the housing downturn occurred, Bison retrenched to its core Texas business in metro Houston and encountered trouble unwinding its ventures outside of Texas.
Earlier this month, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Wesley W. Steen permitted Bison to extend its debtor-in-possession financing facility by one month to Jan. 29. Terms of the facility haven't been disclosed, but as of March, Bison had a $30 million revolver facility from Wachovia to which it owed $14.6 million as of June 25.
Meanwhile, the Houston-based dealer has sought to reach compromises with several of its major vendors that will end hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of claims against it. For instance, on Dec. 8, Steen approved compromise settlements with Crest Metal Doors and with Steves and Sons Inc. Under the agreements, Crest was allowed a general unsecured claim against Bison totaling $137,585,80 and an administrative claim worth $40,631.50, while Steves was allowed a general unsecured claim of $412,242.41 and an administrative claim of $316,055.25. Together, that's $549,828.24 worth of unsecured claims.
However, the order notes that when the remaining unpaid principal on the unsecured claims falls to $250,000, "the Settling Parties shall issue a credit satisfying such claims in full," in effect wiping out close to half of the unsecured claims part of Bison's debt to Crest and Steves.