Libbey emerges from Chapter 11 bankruptcy

The Toledo-based company’s products are found in homes and businesses around the world
Published: Oct. 20, 2020 at 6:16 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Libbey has been a centerpiece of Toledo business for more than two centuries. The company makes glassware and tableware that’s used in homes and businesses all over the world, but in June, they were forced to file for bankruptcy. After months of hard work, Libbey is now officially in the process of emerging from Chapter 11 after a judge approved its reorganization plan this week.

The biggest part of Libbey’s business comes from restaurants, hotels, and bars, so the pandemic drastically affected the demand for its products. Company leaders say it was a team effort to get through this tough chapter, and now they’re focused on getting stronger moving forward. Mike Bauer has been CEO for less than two years. He says it’s important to point out that the new life for Libbey came with some painful decisions. A plant in Louisiana is being closed, dozens of corporate positions were eliminated, and many others have made sacrifices.

“This company has a long history as a market leader in the glass industry, and we realize what that means to the people of Toledo," says Bauer. “We take that responsibility very seriously. We have survived two World Wars, and a number of other challenges in that time. A global pandemic is not going to be our last chapter, thanks to the hard work and dedication of a lot of people. We took about two hours to take a deep breath, and now we are back at it because there is a lot of work to do.”

Jenni Jaffee is General Counsel for Libbey. Toledo is home for Jenni, and Libbey is much more than a job to her. She is grateful for all the people at the company who helped make this day possible.

'We have a grit and dedication amongst our employees that is unparalleled," says Jaffee.

Libbey’s founder, Edward Drummond Libbey, moved the company to Toledo from Massachusetts. He not only created generations of jobs, but his generosity is also still a big part of this city. A lot of the pieces in The Toledo Museum of Art were made possible by donations from the Libbeys. The museum is free to this day thanks to the contributions of Mr. Libbey and his wife Florence.

“Libbey is a Toledo treasure and legacy. We are very proud of that. We want to be good stewards of the important work Mr. Libbey started all those years ago,” says Jaffee.

A judge formally approved the reorganization plan Monday, and Libbey will continue the process of emerging from bankruptcy in the coming weeks.

Right now there are just over 700 people working at the Toledo plant. Libbey is hiring.

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