An owner of the largest employer in Piscataquis County has sued his cousin and fellow co-owner over a deep disagreement about the direction of the manufacturing business that has been in their family for generations — Hardwood Products Company LP of Guilford — and that could be sold to a new owner depending on the outcome of the suit.
In a complaint filed late this week in Cumberland County Superior Court, Timothy Templet said that he and his cousin, John Cartwright, have deadlocked over how to continue operating a parent company that now has 550 workers and more than $55 million in annual revenue across its two different entities. Those entities are Hardwood Products Co., which makes materials such as popsicle sticks and skewers, and Puritan Medical Products Co., a global producer of medical swabs.
While Templet wants to invest more in the business and consider outside offers to buy it, Cartwright has not been open to those changes, according to Templet’s lawsuit.
Because they cannot reconcile their disagreements, Templet’s complaint said, he is asking a judge to dissolve the ownership structure of the company and oversee the company’s sale to a qualified new owner.
Templet, who lives in Cumberland County, has also asked the judge to appoint the company’s general manager to serve as an interim custodian with the power to break deadlocks and to ensure that the business keeps operating while a new ownership arrangement is worked out, according to the lawsuit.