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Troubled Firm Asks for Cash

Associated Press

A firm that produces pipe flanges used in the depressed Oil Patch is placing help-wanted ads of a different sort--newspaper advertisements seeking money to keep the company alive.

“Please send money,” reads the ad, which was placed in the Houston Chronicle. “You will receive nothing but a thank you for your help.”

Tom Lyons, president of Federal Flange & Fitting Co., said Wednesday that he had hoped to avoid such a desperate measure.

“I’m not good at begging, but I think it has come to be just that,” he said.

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About 150 people had called the company since the ad appeared Tuesday, Lyons said.

“We’ve gotten a lot of telephone calls mainly asking for our address,” Lyons said. “They just indicated they would be putting something in the mail.”

Lyons said the small ad will also appear in the Chronicle’s sports section Sunday.

The ad says the company “needs cash to keep 50 people in jobs.” It lists a post office box in Houston where checks can be mailed.

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Federal Flange has suffered along with other companies in the downturn in the petroleum industry. Annual revenues that were about $15 million in the early 1980s have plunged to about $3.5 million, and the company has gone from 160 employees to about 50, including three of Lyons’ 12 children and two of his nephews, he said.


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