Three companies based in Houma are looking to force marine services business Epic Companies in Houston into Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
The three creditors are seeking more than $93,000 in unpaid contracts with Epic Companies for goods and services and filed an involuntary bankruptcy filing against the company Aug. 2 in bankruptcy court in New Orleans. Scurlock Electric LLC, Preferred Sandblasting LLC and Top Drive Services claim their businesses are owed more than $26,000 each, records show.
Epic Companies, which has four offices across Louisiana in Broussard, Belle Chasse, Houma and Golden Meadow, sells offshore oil well maintenance, diving and marine, heavy lift barge services and offshore construction services. It also has a shipyard in Alabama.
The debts sought by the three Houma companies are a fraction of the more than $1.1 million other creditors of Epic Companies claim they are owed in several lawsuits filed in Louisiana courts in recent weeks. The U.S. Marshals office has warrants to seize several of the company’s vessels across the state from Lake Charles to Port Fourchon stemming from lawsuits by contractors looking to collect on past-due bills.
Among those seeking payments are Houston-based Dan Bunkering Inc., which supplies fuel and lubricants to vessels and claims it is owed $822,000 for goods and services across half a dozen vessels owned by Epic Companies. Morgan City-based Garber Brothers, which provides marine transportation services, claims it is owed more than $100,000 from Epic Companies for charter services. New Iberia-based manufacturer Bill Poole Products, which sells valves and controls, claims it is owed about $235,000 from Epic Companies.
According to its LinkedIn profile, Epic Companies has more than 100 employees, many of them in Louisiana. Some of its former employees have indicated in LinkedIn profiles that they were laid off. The company has not filed a mass layoff notice with the state of Louisiana.
None of Epic Companies representatives responded to repeated requests for comment.
In recent days, the phone system for all Epic Companies offices was switched to an automated message that the business is not reachable.
Epic Companies appeared to be a growing company after it acquired three other businesses last year. Epic Companies bought the offshore services division of Tetra Technologies in June 2018 and then bought Ranger Offshore Inc. in August 2018. The company acquired BAE Systems Southeast Shipyards Alabama in October 2018.
Then-CEO Peter Pintar was bullish on the company’s future and said the acquisitions would enable the business to take on projects around the world. Pintar is no longer working at the company, according to an email bounce-back message.
Thomas Clarke, a healthcare industry executive who does private equity deals, financed the deal for Epic Companies to acquire the offshore services division of Tetra Technologies with a $47 million personal guarantee, according to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission records.
Clarke, CEO of Kissito Healthcare in Virginia, did not respond to repeated requests for comment about the future of Epic Companies.