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How Romney and Bain Capital Bankrupted One Firm, Fired All its Workers, and Pocketed $100 Million

When Bain bankrupted the companies it bought – and Bain did that shockingly often – workers and Main Street businesses paid the price.

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Ampad fell into bankruptcy in 2000. Companies besieged with debt — as Ampad was — because of leveraged buyouts often fail because they are too weakened to deal with normal business adversity.

More Main Street victims of Ampad bankruptcy:  Economy Plumbing Co., owed $1,505.69, paid $2.85; Hohner Stitching Products, owed $2,095.76, paid $3.97; Mount Tom Box Co. Inc., owed $34,351.96, paid $65.04.

When Ampad went under, it owed $182.6 million to its suppliers across America. The bankruptcy left only $328,633 to pay nearly 1,300 unsecured creditors – that worked out to 10 cents for every $10 Ampad owed. That’s how a company liked  Hometown Café & Catering, owed $600.60 by Ampad, got all of $1.14. And Hometown Café received that big fat check 11 years after Ampad filed for bankruptcy.

These Main Street shops and businesses are the heart of American communities, supporting the local United Way, Little League teams and Memorial Day parades. Debts never paid mean less money for them to hire their own workers, fewer dollars for them to contribute to their communities and a higher probability they’ll be forced into bankruptcy.

Bain invested  $5 million in Ampad and took more than $100 million out, through numerous methods, including fees. That $100 million would have gone a long way toward paying the debts Ampad owed to Main Street businesses across the country. It wouldn’t be surprising if they felt a little like Romney and Bain robbed them at gunpoint.

But everything Bain did was legal. It’s Romney economics, working for the wealthy while double crossing Main Street.

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