USA lifting services giant Coast Crane Company has initiated Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection proceedings, but hopes to emerge stronger.

The company, based in Seattle, also announced that it has entered into an asset purchase agreement with bidder Clearlake Capital Group, a private investment firm, to acquire substantially all of the company's assets, subject to an auction and bankruptcy court approval.

In addition, it is seeking bankruptcy court approval for funds to honour customer deposits, employee payroll and sales tax, and to approve an auction and sale process.

Coast Crane voluntarily initiated proceedings under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code in the US Bankruptcy Court in Seattle. "We are taking this step to better position our company for the future," said Dan Goodale, Coast Crane CEO. "The recent economic downturn and the impact on the construction industry in particular, had impacted our balance sheet and our banking facilities.

"Our market position, however, has remained strong and we continue to provide our customers with the industry's best products and services. I strongly believe we have the most qualified team in the industry and am proud of all of our employees accomplishments. With the new DIP facility and cash from operations, we have the financial resources to honor all of our future commitments and have every intention of doing so. We fully expect to emerge a stronger company and believe in our future," Goodale continued.

Coast Crane secured Debtor-in-Possession ("DIP") financing from its existing lenders, which will provide sufficient working capital to fund operations and allow the company to meet its employee, customer and supplier commitments throughout the sale process, the company said.

It expects to complete the sale process within 90 days or less and is conducting business as usual.

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