New Safety-Kleen Needs New Boss


Fresh out of bankruptcy, Safety-Kleen Corp. announced last week that it is looking for a captain to chart its course.

The Plano, Texas, used oil rerefiner announced Jan. 14 that Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Ronald A. Rittenmeyer has informed the companys board of directors that he intends to resign. Rittenmeyer agreed to stay on for six to nine months while the board searches for his replacement.

Rittenmeyer joined Safety-Kleen in August 2001, 14 months after the company entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. During his tenure, the company divested its former Chemical Services Division, settled litigation with parent company Laidlaw, resolved government investigations into accounting irregularities and reached agreements with South Carolina on the long-term care of a hazardous waste landfill.

Safety-Kleen emerged from Chapter 11 last month with $295 million in secured financing, after restructuring billions in debt. Under the court-approved reorganization plan, holders of secured claims received 100 percent equity in the new company, while former stockholders lost all of their investment. Holders of unsecured claims received interest in a creditor trust.

Safety-Kleen is North Americas largest collector and rerefiner of used lubricating oil. It collects 100 million gallons of used oil per year and operates rerefineries in East Chicago, Ind., and Breslau, Ontario, with combined capacity to produce 5,000 barrels per day of Group I base oils.

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