Poultry company from South Korea high bidder for Allen Family Foods

By Lynn R. Parks

A poultry company in South Korea was the high bidder Monday in an auction of Allen Family Foods, a Seaford company that in June announced that it had declared bankruptcy. On Tuesday, former Allen CEO Charles "Chick Allen III said that Harim, which processes 6 million birds a week and has 40 percent of the poultry share in South Korea, outbid Mountaire Farms of Delmarva.

Mountaire announced in June that it had signed an agreement with Allens to buy its assets for $30 million. Allen was unable to say what Harims winning bid amount was.

The two companies were the only bidders. The final sales agreement is pending the approval of Bankruptcy Court.

"Many technical issues remain that will require the courts approval, Allen said.

On Tuesday, Mountaire Farms issued a statement saying that is had "discontinued its efforts to buy assets of Allens. "Mountaire wishes the best for the Allen family and everyone at their companies, the statement added.

Allen Family Foods celebrated its 90th birthday in 2009. When it announced its bankruptcy, it blamed its financial woes on high feed prices, low chicken prices and tight credit. Its bank, Wilmington Trust, which in May was purchased by M&T Bank of Buffalo, slashed Allens credit line by 90 percent last year.

"In the 40 years that Ive been in this business, Ive seen too many times like this, Allen said in an interview last month. "But we always had good banks behind us. This time, we just ran out of money. If we still had the line of credit that we used to have, we would be in a very different scenario.

The companys total debt is nearly $83 million. It owes $520,000 to M&T had been discussed is the property along the Nanticoke River near Water Street, known as the Conaway property. Anderson said the city has been given no information relating to where Perdue may eventually hope to locate.

DeYoung said Perdue has not confirmed a Seaford location. She said the operation would be administrative and would not create enhanced truck traffic in the city. Perdue already has several operations in and around Seaford, including grain elevators and/or chicken processing plants in Seaford, Bridgeville and Georgetown.

 

The Perdue AgriRecycle operation, a division of Perdue AgriBusiness, LLC, is also located just south of Blades along U.S. 13A. This processing operation, which opened in 2001, performs chicken house clean outs and converts the litter into pellets that are composed primarily of organic matter and humus. The product is particularly useful for commercial row crop operations that are suffering from micronutrient deficiencies or low organic matter.

According to information from the Perdue Corporation, Perdue has invested more than $13 million in Perdue AgriRecycle because many Delmarva poultry producers, especially those with smaller farms, needed an alternative to traditional land application of poultry litter. Perdue AgriRecycle provides that alternative, and helps to protect the waterways of the Chesapeake Bay and coastal inland bays. The company can process the equivalent of 400 poultry houses worth of litter each year.

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