Company may be sold after declaring bankruptcy

On behalf of The Rollins Law Firm posted in Chapter 7 on Friday, March 8, 2013.

A weak market can bring about many financial challenges for a company, leaving them on shaky ground or worse. One potential option for companies like this is Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which can take away some of the burdens brought upon by creditors in the form of debt relief. In cases like these, the company has to sell off their assets.

A milk company may reopen in the future despite closing down in January and subsequently filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The company was shut down two months ago, with over 100 people losing jobs. It then filed for the bankruptcy, which means it had to stop operations and permanently close down. A trustee was appointed to sell their assets and pay off their debts with the money raised.

However, a court filing says that one of the company's creditors believes the trustee is negotiating to sell the plant and all assets. The trustee had started a marketing campaign in an effort to sell off the bottling plant and equipment. The court noted that this sale would be best for creditors and the overall job market. An attorney who represents a bottle cap company that owns some of the plant's equipment says the trustee is trying to buy all or most of the milk company's assets.

This comes as milk sales have fallen for years and the dairy industry has shrunk - with slim profit margins and an extremely competitive market. The country's biggest dairy processor recently said it would close between 10 and 15 percent of their plants after losing a significant client. This would make it harder to sell the milk company in question.

One option is to use the plant for other products. It is currently open but only in a limited capacity, to get ready for a sale. Because of the bankruptcy filing, if someone could buy the company's assets and restart operations without the weight of previous debt and contracts - including a pre-existing labor agreement with the local union.

Bankruptcy may not always be the most preferred option but can be necessary. If companies are struggling with debt, then bankruptcy could be unavoidable. If that is the option a company chooses, they should first fully understand all of their legal options and then decide how to proceed.

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Sale of Golden Guernsey Dairy may be imminent, creditor says," Rick Barrett, March 1, 2013

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