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Western Co. Of North America Files For Bankruptcy

February 2, 1988

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) _ The Western Co. of North America, hobbled by oil-industry woes and debt topping $600 million, filed for protection from its creditors Tuesday under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

The Fort Worth-based oilfield service company lost almost $183 million last year, but President Sheldon Erikson said business should continue as usual while the firm reorganizes under the auspices of federal bankruptcy court.

The firm was founded nearly a half-century ago by Eddie Chiles, majority owner of the Texas Rangers baseball team and a conservative Republican political activist.

The bankruptcy petition applies only to the Western Co., not to Chiles, the Texas Rangers or any of the company’s subsidiaries and affiliates, officials said.

Western listed debts of $606.9 million, of which only $71.8 million is secured by collateral. The company listed assets of $381.9 million.

The company also released fourth-quarter figures that show it lost $31 million on revenue of $57.6 million. That compares with 1986 fourth-quarter loss of $20.4 million on $35.2 million in sales.

For all of 1987, the company suffered a net loss of $182.6 million on revenue of $176.5 million. In 1986, the firm reported a net loss of $340.5 million on revenue of $197 million.

The Western Company has lost $624.8 million since 1983. The company’s stock has dropped from a five-year high of $12 to about $1 per share.

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