AUBURN – Once-bankrupt Morin Brick, whose products can be found in some of New England’s most prestigious college buildings, city buildings and schools, announced Monday its emergence from bankruptcy.

R.J. Finlay & Co., a New Hampshire-based real estate firm, has purchased the 97-year-old company, allowing it to emerge from Chapter 11 court protection and restart production by late April.

“I’m delighted to have the resources and full financial support of R.J. Finlay & Co.,” said Morin Brick President Norm Davis in a statement. “Morin Brick has always held a prominent place in the landscape of New England’s building industry, and R.J. Finlay & Co’s belief in our vitality ensures our 97-year tradition of uncompromised brick making will continue,”

Paul Lachance, vice president and director of sales and marketing, said Monday afternoon that the move will allow the company to rehire the 40 people who were laid off after the company filed for bankruptcy protection last September. The company continued to employ about 15 people, but had ceased production.

Owners had embarked about three years ago on a mission to upgrade the company’s efficiency and capacity, adding robotics, high-efficiency equipment and increased kiln capacity. The gradual downturn in the economy forced the company to abandon the plans, but the recapitalization by R.J. Finlay will allow it to finish what it started, Lachance said.

Morin Brick’s products can be found in buildings at Bates, Bowdoin, Colby and Dartmouth colleges and the University of Maine, the federal courthouse in Boston, many downtown buildings in Portland and Portsmouth, N.H, many sidewalks throughout New England and Lewiston’s new Geiger school.

“For nearly a century, the name Morin Brick has been synonymous with outstanding brick manufacturing throughout New England. We are thrilled to finance this proud tradition into its next century of excellence. When small businesses are struggling to meet the challenges of this national recession, I am pleased and honored to put 40 individuals back to work in this community,” R.J. Finlay President Robert Finlay said.

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