Case | HBS Case Collection | July 2014

Paramount Equipment, Inc.

by Carliss Y. Baldwin and Wei Wang


Paramount Equipment, Inc., based in Fort Wayne, Indiana, is a large manufacturer of cranes and compact construction equipment, aerial work platforms, and food service equipment. Founded in 1987, Paramount now had manufacturing operations in 24 countries. However, it lost its competitive position because it took on too much debt in the form of bank borrowings relative to the risk level of its business. Now the company must seek funding and guarantees in order to restructure its debt. Paramount's future depends on whether existing lenders, management, and the government of Ontario—where the company employs more than 7,000—can reach a feasible restructuring and refinancing plan fast and whether Paramount was able to secure a capital injection from new investors. Students must determine the optimal capital structure policy consistent with competitive risks and assess available tools for financing a company in financial distress. The case requires students to perform only limited quantitative analysis and is ideal for use in first-year MBA courses in financial strategy or corporate finance. It would also work well in advanced undergraduate finance courses that cover capital structure and financial distress.


Baldwin, Carliss Y., and Wei Wang. "Paramount Equipment, Inc." Harvard Business School Brief Case 914-557, July 2014.