Claire's parent files for bankruptcy

Sunday, August 3, 2003

August 4 , 2003

CLEVELAND - Chart Industries and certain of its U.S. subsidiaries, including liquid oxygen manufacturer Caire, have filed voluntary petitions for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code to implement a previously announced restructuring through a pre-packaged plan of reorganization that has received strong support from the company's senior lenders.

On July 10, 2003, the Bankruptcy Court approved all "first day motions" that are intended to support the Company's employees, customers and vendors, and provide other forms of operational and financial stability such as the continued use of existing bank accounts, as Chart proceeds with its restructuring. With regard to employees, the bankruptcy court authorized payment of pre-petition and post-petition wages and benefits. With regard to vendors and suppliers, the Court has authorized Chart to pay pre-petition vendor obligations in the ordinary course of business as long as the vendors or suppliers return the company to normal credit terms.

The court also granted interim approval of a new $40 million debtor-in-possession (DIP) credit facility and authorized the Company to use up to $25 million of the credit facility until the court holds a hearing to consider final approval of the DIP facility, which is scheduled for Aug. 12, 2003. The DIP financing will provide the company sufficient liquidity to continue operations, pay employees and purchase goods and services during the Chapter 11 case.

"We accomplished a great deal in the last few days since our Chapter 11 filing," said Arthur S. Holmes, Chart's chairman and chief executive officer. "We are pleased with the prompt approval by the bankruptcy court of our 'first day motions,' which, taken together, will enable the company to operate without interruption and meet normal business obligations. Moreover, these accomplishments will allow us to remain focused on serving customers, a top priority during the restructuring process."