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Gulistan Carpet Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection

Residential and commercial tufted carpet manufacturer Gulistan Carpet Inc., Aberdeen, N.C., has filed a voluntary petition for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code for the Middle District of North Carolina. The company says the filing will allow it to explore options to sell the business to a third party or to complete an orderly wind-down of its operations.

Gulistan traces its roots back to 1818, when an Armenian textile importer established a business in Turkey. It has been producing carpet under the Gulistan® name since 1924, first in Freehold, N.J., and began manufacturing carpet in Aberdeen in 1957. The company was acquired by J.P. Stevens & Co. Inc. in 1964, and has undergone several ownership changes over the last 25 years. Gulistan also has a plant in Wagram, N.C.

The company has been impacted by a slowdown in the residential carpet market resulting from an extended downturn in the housing industry. According to company management, Gulistan "has been making substantial efforts over the past few years to restructure its debts or to restructure its business and continue to operate. The company has engaged in discussions and negotiations with a private equity group and other companies in the industry in an attempt to sell Gulistan's assets as a going concern. None of these efforts have proved successful to date."

If Gulistan is unable to find a buyer, approximately 395 full-time employees will be terminated over the next four months. Specific closure dates have yet to be determined, as different company operations would cease at different times, management said.

January/February 2013