Garden Way to close operations

Garden Way, manufacturer of Troy-Bilt and Bolens lawn equipment, announced that it will close it's Ohio operations and lay off 550 employees.

The company said it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, along with parent GWI Holding Inc., and plans to sell assets to MTD Consumer Group of Ohio, subject to bankruptcy court approval.

In a statement, the company said it had been trying since 1995 to return to financial health, with significant improvements through early 2000, but blamed a shift in consumer buying habits to mass retail outlets, plus a slowing economy, for the closing.

Under the reorganization plan, MTD will produce and sell most Troy-Bilt and Bolens products, and assume responsibility for service and warranty parts. The sale would exclude land, buildings, and Chipper/Shredder and Vac product lines.

Garden Way, in Troy for more than 60 years, made outdoor equipment including rototillers and lawnmowers.

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