Herald JournalHerald Journal, Dec. 22, 2003

Sale of Lester's being restructured

By Ryan Gueningsman

Butler Manufacturing, which owns Lester Building Systems in Lester Prairie, has terminated its agreement to sell all of Lester's assets to a management team, according to a press release issued by Butler.

"We're waiting for Butler to get one of their lenders to consent to the deal," said Lester Building Systems President John Hill. "Butler is restructuring its finances, and as a result of that, they weren't going to approve the Lester's deal until that is complete."

Hill foresees the deal still going through, and projects it happening sometime in the first quarter of 2004.

"During the third quarter of 2003, the company (Butler) and the buyer (Lester's management group) executed definitive agreements, which called for the transaction to be completed by Nov. 21," according to the release. "The closing was subject to receipt of consent from the company's senior lenders, which was not received by Nov. 21. On that date, the buyer and seller executed an agreement terminating the sale."

The company intends to operate the business for the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, the Lester assets will continue to be held for sale as the company and Lester's existing management team are both interested in ultimately consummating a sale transaction, it was noted in the release.

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