Local economic leaders, former company executive laud planned Armstrong Flooring sale; ‘Very best possible outcome’ | Local Business

Richard Hendricks is in a one of a kind placement to supply insightful investigation of AHF Products’ offer to invest in most of Armstrong Flooring’s North American belongings and continue to keep Armstrong Flooring’s Lancaster facilities operating.

The 73-calendar year-previous East Petersburg resident had a 34-yr vocation with both companies’ parent firm, Armstrong Entire world Industries, and worked closely as a fellow executive with the present CEO of AHF, Brian Carson.

“If you would have termed me a 7 days in the past and asked, ‘Who would have the very best probability of pulling this off and making it get the job done?’ (the remedy) would have been Brian Carson,” Hendricks reported. The deal “is the extremely most effective probable outcome for all involved,” he mentioned.

Subsequent an agreement introduced Sunday, a personal bankruptcy choose is set to look at the $107 million sale nowadays. The sale, which need to earn acceptance from the decide, would have Armstrong Flooring’s Lancaster functions go on below AHF Goods, a West Hempfield Township organization that commenced as a 2018 spinoff of Armstrong Flooring’s wooden flooring small business. AHF Solutions is led by Carson, a former executive for Armstrong Planet Industries, which spun off Armstrong Flooring in 2016.

Some uncertainty dispelled

Whilst it is not nonetheless apparent if any of Armstrong Flooring’s 606 Lancaster County employment will be eradicated, news that the nearby operations would carry on was cheered by neighborhood financial enhancement officers.

“Armstrong has continually been functioning to make sure the sale was in the most effective curiosity of their stakeholders, inclusive of individuals in the Lancaster group,” explained Heather Valudes, president and CEO of the Lancaster Chamber. “It is fantastic news that one more regional business is attaining belongings and that they will continue to operate in Lancaster. AHF has been rising and is absolutely a leader in the flooring market.”

Lisa Riggs, president of the Financial Enhancement Enterprise of Lancaster County, stated the sale announcement is welcome news pursuing months of uncertainty about the fate of the company’s community operations.

“It seems like (Armstrong Flooring’s Lancaster plant) will carry on to be a crucial asset transferring forward and will continue to run. That to me is a big constructive,” Riggs stated. “It’s heading to be operated by a person with a new name, but it shows the toughness and quality of (Armstrong Flooring’s) product, and that it is a practical product in the sector.”

In June Armstrong Flooring mentioned 215 people today labored at its Lancaster metropolis facilities on Dillerville Highway and Loop Highway, and about 391 worked at, ended up assigned to, or noted to the corporate office environment on Hempstead Street in East Lampeter Township. Whilst Armstrong Flooring has claimed its North American areas will operate as regular, it is not clear but if there would be some area task cuts.

Riggs mentioned the Economic Progress Business of Lancaster County is keenly intrigued in no matter if all all those careers will be retained but provides that everyone who is laid off will obtain a solid local overall economy where all types of staff are in demand.

Dave Hanson, CEO of Lancaster-dependent Fulton Monetary Advisors and Fulton Non-public Financial institution, agrees. He said that with Lancaster County’s unemployment level below state and nationwide averages, “our community economic system offers alternatives in the occasion that any staff members would be displaced.”

An insider’s perspective

At very first look, Hendricks, who grew up in East Hempfield Township, would have tiny explanation to discuss up with praise for AHF’s Carson. The two have been on unique sides of a delicate situation when they labored at Armstrong Globe Industries.

A management shakeup resulted in Carson having Hendrick’s executive position. Hendricks, who retired in 2005 after a 34-12 months occupation with Armstrong Planet Industries, reported to Carson throughout his remaining assignment as a plant manager in Kentucky.

However, Hendricks reported he ongoing to admire Carson, who assisted navigate his have exit from the enterprise.

“He addressed me very perfectly. I cannot say ample about him. He’s an great preference. He’s a proficient manager, he’s very well believed of and he’s professional,” Hendricks stated.

Carson, who started out with Armstrong World Industries in 1990, remaining the enterprise not lengthy after Hendricks retired. In 2006 Carson, joined Mohawk Flooring, an Atlanta-based producer of carpet, wood, vinyl, tile, and rugs. Mohawk, Armstrong Flooring and AHF all contend in identical flooring markets. Carson returned to Lancaster County in 2019.

“(Carson) understands that business within and out and he’s been thriving in his other flooring ventures with Mohawk and everything because. The point that he is element of that team that is accomplishing it (in search of to buy Armstrong Flooring) is pretty superior information,” Hendricks reported.