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Local engineering firm Heide & Cook files bankruptcy

Heide & Cook Ltd., one of Hawaii’s oldest and largest mechanical engineering firms, filed bankruptcy today, hoping to restructure debts and continue operations.

The Honolulu-based company established in 1946 filed a Chapter 11 petition listing assets and debts each at about $10 million.

The firm said in its petition filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Honolulu that it had been unable to satisfy delinquent debts to lenders, landlords and equipment lessors despite a restructuring effort announced in August.

Earle Matsuda, Heide & Cook’s co-owner, president and chief operating officer, said in the filing that the company has more value if it can restructure debts and stay in business.

The bankruptcy plan proposes that a subsidiary of Chugach Alaska Corp., a Native Alaskan-owned conglomerate, provide $500,000 to sustain Heide & Cook through bankruptcy reorganization.

Matsuda said Chugach is expected to assume ownership of Heide & Cook and retain the majority of its roughly 100 employees.

Other details of restructuring debts will be proposed and subject to Bankruptcy Court approval.

Heide & Cook said its 20 largest creditors with debts not secured by company assets are owed $4.3 million. The largest of those is a $1 million claim held by Chugach. The next largest claim is $488,956 in credit card debt owed to First Hawaiian Bank. Debts owed to 15 vendors and subcontractors range from about $70,000 to $300,000 each.

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