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Keysor-Century Calls It Quits
Saugus plastics maker files liquidation plan in the wake of federal probe into alleged environmental crimes.


After nearly 21 months of sorting through its Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Keysor-Century Corp. has filed plans to liquidate its $8.28 million in assets to settle more than $9.33 million in secured debt and administrative fees.

Keysor-Century, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on March 19, 2002, "seeks to accomplish payment under the plan by liquidating all its assets," according to the company's bankruptcy plan, which was filed Dec. 10. "In turn, the proceeds of such liquidation of assets will be paid out to various parties entitled thereto pursuant to the priority provide(d) under the bankruptcy code."

The company had the option to file a plan to reorganize or dissolve, and chose the latter.

Keysor-Century's more than 1,300 creditors have until Jan. 5 to vote whether to accept the plan. The company will present the results of the vote to the court on Jan. 12.

Attorneys for Keysor-Century and its creditors committee could not be reached for comment Monday. Company co-owner Kathy Keysor-Smith also could not be reached for comment.

A woman who answered the phone at Keysor-Century said no one from the company would be available to discuss the liquidation until next week.

Located on Springbrook Avenue in Saugus since the 1950s, Keysor-Century has manufactured resins used in long-playing records, plastic bottles, floor tiles, credit cards and other products.

A variety of chemicals are used in the manufacturing process, including vinyl chloride and polyvinyl chloride, which are known carcinogens. Vinyl chloride is a colorless, highly flammable gas that poses a risk to anyone who inhales its fumes.

In 1977, those fumes were among the factors that prompted the Saugus Union School District to close the old Saugus Elementary School, which was located across the street from the plant. The former school site is now a shopping center.

In February 2002, agents from the FBI and Environmental Protection Agency raided Keysor-Century's headquarters and, in an affidavit, accused the company of releasing toxins into the air and water in violation of the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, and of making false statements to federal officials.

Keysor-Century has not yet reached an agreement to settle the alleged violations, but company officials indicated in their Dec. 10 court paperwork that they are hopeful the matter will be resolved soon. In the liquidation plan, the company reported that a potential settlement could include payment of $1.25 million in fees to certain government agencies and an agreement to ensure future compliance with environmental laws.


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