South Korean Firm Purchases Allen Family Foods

On July 29, 2011, in Domestic Market, by Maggie Ernst

An affiliate of a South Korean meat producer was the winning  bidder in a bankruptcy auction for the assets of Allen Family Foods held on Monday.  HarimUSA Inc., a unit of publicly traded Harim Holdings Company outbid Millsboro, Delaware-based Mountaire Farms.

Mountaire had previously bid $30 million to acquire most of Allen’s assets and assume its debt obligations as well as an additional amount for inventory of up to $38 million.  Mountaire discontinued its bid for the company once the bankruptcy court trustee said its bid was too low.  The marathon auction lasted about 12 hours.

The amount of Harim’s winning bid was $48 million.  The cost of Allen’s inventory will be added to the bid price.  New Castle Country bankruptcy judge has indicated  he will approve the sale, possibly by mid-August.

Harim Holdings is headquartered in Iksan, South Korea,  south of Seoul.  “Through our knowledge of Asian consumer preferences, we plan to expand product offerings to include premium, value-added products that can be sold throughout the United States and Asia.  We also look forward to maintaining strong relations with the local communities and customers where Allen operates, and to help establish stronger and more efficient operations in those markets,” said Hong Kuk Kim, chairman of the Harim Group.

Harim officials said they hope to keep the company intact and continue operations at all facilities they will acquire.

Allen Family Foods filed for bankruptcy protection in June, citing current economic conditions as the cause, particularly the record-high corn and soybean meal costs and low chicken prices.  The company reportedly owes about $83 million to its secured creditors.