112-year-old stone company files for bankruptcy-WEB ONLY

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A Bloomington company that provided limestone for Yankee Stadium, the White House and the new Indianapolis International Airport has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Victor Oolitic Stone Co., which has 85 full-time employees and 2,400 acres in Bloomington, listed assets worth up to $50 million and liabilities between $50 million and $100 million in its April 28 filing.

The company had been operating under a crushing debt load since Boston-based private equity firm Audax Group acquired it near the peak of its market value in 2005, loading the firm up with debt shortly before the market for limestone softened. Neither party disclosed a price for the deal, but the bankruptcy filing shows Victor Oolitic still is saddled with more than $71 million in acquisition-related debt.

The company’s largest creditor, Milwaukee-based M&I Bank, is owed about $53 million, and Chicago-based Freeport Loan Fund is owed $18.2 million.

M&I seized more than $1 million in cash in the company’s operating account on April 15, essentially forcing the bankruptcy. The company and bank had been negotiating about an extension to a loan-forbearance agreement but could not reach terms.

Victor Oolitic was founded in 1897.

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