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Alden Electronics is shut by sheriff 

Tuesday, October 3, 2000  
By Jim Bodor  Telegram & Gazette Staff   

WESTBORO-- Some ominous storm clouds are gathering around Alden  Electronics Inc., a weather information company.  

The Worcester County sheriff has shut the company and seized its  computers, satellite dishes and other weather-gathering devices, Deputy  Sheriff Al Bove said yesterday.  

The move came in response to a lawsuit in Westboro District Court filed  by 40 Washington Ltd. Partnership, an arm of Carruth Capital LLC, which  owns the building at 40 Washington St., where Alden Electronics is situated.  Alden Electronics owes the partnership more than $107,000 in rent,  according to Mr. Bove and court records.  

According to the court records, Alden agreed to two judgments totaling  about $107,000. The court then issued an execution, which gives the  sheriff authority to seize the company's assets and sell them to satisfy  the judgments.  

The lawyer for the partnership, Joseph R. Jenkins of Shrewsbury, said it  initiated the seizure because it wants to free up Alden's space so it can  be leased to another business. "They went a number of months without  paying, and we just couldn't wait any more," Mr. Jenkins said. He declined  to say how many months had passed without payment and declined to comment  further. Eight others creditors are owed various amounts, in most cases  for leased equipment, said Mr. Bove.  

The creditors include First Sierra Financial of Houston; Mercantile  Capital of Wynnewood, Pa.; and Bayview Funding of Palo Alto, Calif., he  said. The sheriff's office is in the process of contacting those creditors  to determine how much each is owed, Mr. Bove said.  

The sheriff's office will hold an auction of Alden's property as soon as  each creditor is contacted and agrees to the auction, he said.  

The lawyer for Alden, Joseph H. Baldiga of Worcester, declined to  comment. Alden's chief executive officer, David K. Doyle, did not return  calls seeking a comment.  

Alden Electronics has weathered some stormy times since its founder, John  H. Alden, died in 1989.  

At its peak, the more than 50-year-old company sold a wide range of  weather products and services, including satellite phone systems,  computer-based weather-information receiving stations and even heavy-duty  fax machines used by the Marines.  

The company also sold a computerized list of government bids and  contracts called the Commerce Business Daily, and packages of weather  information used by newspapers, television stations and ocean-going  boats.  

Before Mr. Alden's death, the company tallied annual sales of about $20  million. By 1995, the company's revenue dwindled to about $13 million per  year, while losses climbed to $1.8 million.  

In 1997, the company was delisted from the Nasdaq Stock Market when its  share price dropped below minimum levels.  

That year, the company was sold to AEIRE Corp. of Sunrise, Fla., which  later sold Alden to Platinum Equity Holdings of California.  

Last year, Platinum sold Alden to WELS Research Corp. of Boulder, Colo.,  another weather data and forecasting company. At that time Alden had 28  employees. WELS still owns the company. WELS officials referred all  questions to Mr. Doyle.  

2000 Worcester Telegram & Gazette