170th year to be last for company

By David Krechevsky, Republican American

The Homer D. Bronson Co. of Winsted will mark its 170th anniversary this year by closing its doors, selling its assets and laying off its staff of about 36 employees.

The company, at 150 Price Road in the Winsted Industrial Park, is closing because its parent company, Modern Metal Products Co. of Rockford, Ill., filed for bankruptcy and is selling its assets to pay its creditors.

Modern Metal filed a Chapter 11 petition for protection from creditors on Dec. 1, after the company's lender shut off its line of credit. The company listed both assets and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million, and stated that it owes its top 20 creditors more than $6 million.

John Zoldy, vice president and general manager for Bronson, said Thursday no closing date has been set for his company because it is working to complete its remaining orders. Bronson manufactures hinges and metal-stamped products for automotive, heavy truck and industrial uses.

"We're being sold as part of the asset sales to return money to creditors of the business," Zoldy said. "The economic conditions have not helped."

Bronson has had ongoing layoffs this year, and its staff is now "about 34 or 36," down from "the low 50s," Zoldy said. The remaining employees were told Wednesday of the plans to shut down.