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Cary Francis Group To Be Sold

Cary Francis Group (asi/158924), a midsize distributor based in Franklin, WI, has applied for debt relief under a little-known Wisconsin law that will result in the sale of the business. On Tuesday, the company filed for Chapter 128, a state-based alternative to federal bankruptcy that allows someone to pay off unsecured debts in a single monthly payment up to three years.

Under the filing, company Founder and President Philip Krempely relinquishes control of the company. Michael S. Polsky, a Milwaukee lawyer, has been appointed receiver by the court at the company’s request. Wadsworth Whitestar Consultants, a Milwaukee-based firm specializing in turnarounds, has been retained by Polsky to run the day-to-day operations of Cary Francis Group and help sell the company.

“While the past couple of years have been difficult for our company, we made great strides in getting the business back on sound footings,” said Krempely, in a statement. “Unfortunately, a significant systems failure earlier this year and the resultant financial stress forced this decision upon us. We are grateful for the continued support of our outstanding workers, customers and vendors as we take this difficult, but necessary step.”

Krempely says customers will be serviced as normal while the court-supervised sale process takes place. Previously a long-time executive with incentive company Carlson Marketing Group, Krempely started Cary Francis Group in 1999. The distributor today has about 30 employees and offices in four states.