Artech Printing Crumbles into Oblivion
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported that union representatives of former Artech Printing workers charged that Artech executives received too much money in consulting and management fees. The Wisconsin State Attorney General's office is conducting a preliminary investigation into allegations that monies are missing from the company, but no individual or individuals have been targeted.
Watson, who categorically denies that there is any missing money from the company, points out that deal financier GE Capital, along with the receivership and bankruptcy trustee, all did their own thorough investigations and found no evidence that would support a claim of impropriety. To date, there is no indication of a formal investigation nor a move to form a grand jury, he adds.
The Wisconsin Department of Commerce and Racine Economic Development Corp. have fallen under criticism that Artech was not sufficiently qualified to assume $3.75 million in Golden Book loans. The Journal-Sentinel also reported that another term of the agreement with state and Racine County officials, along with deal financier GE Capital, did not require Artech Capital to put any money into buying the plant unless it met its financial projections after 18 months, at which time a $1 million payment to the company's debt would have been required of Artech Capital. That projection was never realized.
Artech Printing may be gone, but there is hope for that area's economy. The town of Sturtevant and former Artech employees received some good news in late May, when Bombardier Recreational Products, which manufactures outboard motors such as Johnson and Evinrude, announced it had purchased Artech's 408,000-square-foot plant.
The company plans to employ as many as 1,000 here.