HED:Flexible Flyer hints at future expansions

AUTHOR: EILEEN

HED:Flexible Flyer hints at future expansions

By Eileen Bailey

Daily Journal

WEST POINT- The roughly 100 employees of Flexible Flyer will have a merrier Christmas thanks to a Monday announcement that the company will not close and will remain headquartered in West Point.

Earlier this fall Flexible Flyer, a supplier of gym sets, trampolines, plastic toys and backyard products, faced closure when its parent company filed for bankruptcy. Flexible Flyer was then taken over by Cerberus Partners, L.P. with the transaction being complete on Friday.

In November, FF Acquisition, an affiliate of Cerberus Partners, was the top bidder at the Federal Bankruptcy Court hearing, outbidding Hedstrom Corp., which had previously signed a contract to acquire the Flexible Flyer business, said Tim Voss, president of Flexible Flyer.

Voss said it was the management team, employees and community leaders working together to save the company.

“We are now in a position to succeed in program expansion with our key customers and we are prepared to immediately renew the programs and service that Flexible Flyer has been known for delivering,” Voss said.

In addition to keeping the company open Voss said he hopes to get the employee base back to 200 to 300 employees, the number of workers the company has during the peak spring production time.

Voss said other future plans include installing new blow-molding equipment, a new paint system and making use of previously unused space in the company’s 350,000-square-foot facility.

The company, which has been in operation in West Point for 28 years, makes 200,000 gym sets annually. A sister company in Utah makes 150,000 trampolines each year.

Additional announcements about the company’s future will be made in the following months, he said.

But for now employees are glad the company will stay open. Sheila Fair, president of the Local 832, has been working for the company since it opened 28 years ago.

“I am very pleased the company will still be open and we are looking forward to 1998,” Fair said.