Agriprocessorstrusteesays12.cfm Agriprocessors trustee says 12 buyers looking
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Agriprocessors trustee says 12 buyers looking

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP)--The court-appointed trustee overseeing Agriprocessors' bankruptcy case said at least a dozen parties are looking at buying whole or a part of the meatpacking company.

"Although no formal marketing efforts have been undertaken at this juncture, I have been approached by no fewer than 12 parties that have expressed an interest (in) undertaking due diligence in connection with a potential proposal to acquire all or a portion of debtor's assets," trustee Joe Sarachek wrote in a progress report filed in late December.

The meatpacking company's plant in Postville was the site of a May 12 immigration raid in which 389 people were arrested. It was one of the largest worksite immigration raids in U.S. history.

Sarachek said in the report that the company, which had halted production at one point, has rehired about 200 people in the Postville plant and another 11 at its headquarters in New York.

The company also ran a plant near Gordon, Neb., that closed because of Agriprocessors' financial problems.

One main point of concern in the bankruptcy case is the ability for the company to repay its secured and unsecured creditors since its former CEO Sholom Rubashkin faces numerous criminal charges related to hiring illegal workers and civil charges that come with hefty fines.

Sarachek said in the report that Agriprocessors owes about $6 million to livestock and poultry sellers for animals already delivered. Sarachek said he's working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to determine which creditors' claims the company must pay under rules that govern the selling of livestock.

Plant production resumed on Dec. 3. Since then, the company has sold about $948,000 worth of merchandise and pulled in about $3 million in money owed the company.

The company also got money to resume its chicken processing from its largest secured creditor, St. Louis-based First Bank Business Capital.

The company received about $3.37 in two emergency cash infusions, and expects approval for a third cash infusion from the bank at a bankruptcy court hearing late Dec. 22.

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Date: 12/29/08


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