Texas Distributor Files Chapter 11

July 2, 2009

Bison Building Materials, based in Houston, Texas, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The building products distributor employs more than 500 people and, as of June, had closed all of its operations outside of Texas, according to Modern Distribution Management.

A statement filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas attributes a combination of real estate lease obligations and a tight credit market as having led to the decision to file for bankruptcy. “Since most of the Debtors’ discontinued operations are in markets such as Las Vegas and Phoenix, some of the most toxic real estate markets in the U.S., the Debtors’ efforts to sublease or otherwise mitigate damages of landlords have been largely unsuccessful," said Pat W. Bierschwale, president of Bison Building Holdings, in the statement. "Management decided it was not possible to continue to pay lease rentals attributable to the discontinued operations.”

Bison is a distributor of Jeld-Wen window and door products.  It also produces a variety of interior and exterior door products.  At one point, Bison employed 1,350 employees with locations in six states.