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Constar Plastic Bottle Maker Files Bankruptcy in Delaware

Constar International Holdings LLC, a maker of plastic soda bottles, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for the third time since 2008, citing a slowdown in business, and plans to sell its assets.

The company, based in Trevose, Pennsylvania, listed assets of as much as $100 million and debt as high as $500 million in papers filed today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware.

In the absence of available loans, the debtors “determined that the sale of substantially all of their assets was the best way to maximize value for their stakeholders,” Alexander Stevenson, a consultant with Lincoln Partners Advisors LLC, said in court papers.

Constar is seeking a speedy sale, with Amcor Rigid Plastics USA Inc. the lead or “stalking horse” bidder, at an undisclosed opening auction price, according to the filings.

The company sought bankruptcy protection twice before, in 2008 and 2011. In the latter one, Constar exchanged debt for equity, blaming unmanageable debt on a food-industry shift from buying plastic containers to making them in-house. Officials said at the time that its largest customer, PepsiCo Inc., had been making more of its own bottles.

Constar’s largest unsecured creditors listed in court papers include DAK Americas and DAK Resinas of Mexico, owed more than $15 million, and Britvic Soft Drinks Ltd. of London, owed $5.43 million.

The case is In re Constar International Holdings LLC, 13-bk-13281, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

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