The new Korean owners of Allen Family Foods met Thursday with Delaware Governor Jack Markell and assured him they would keep the company’s plant in Harbeson, Delaware, operating. The company also has a plant in Cordova, Maryland. 

 Harim Group of Iksan, South Korea, bid $48 million plus value of inventory for Allen’s assets in a bankruptcy auction in a court in Delaware.  The transaction is expected to close August 17.  Harim Group Chairman Hong Kuk Kim led a team of company officials on a visit to the U.S. this week.

 “We’re very pleased to welcome Chairman Kim and his team to Delaware,” Governor Markell said.  “We’re especially pleased that they are planning to maintain the operations at Harbeson.”  The Harim team also planned to meet with Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley.

 The only other bid in the auction was from Mountaire Corp., based in Little Rock, Arkansas.  The company seemed undaunted by the outcome of the auction and said it plans to expand its production at its facilities in Millsboro and Selbyville, Delaware, adding 400,000 chickens a week.


Harim Chairman Kim and colleagues meet with NCC staff.

HARIM GROUP LEADERS VISIT NCC -- The chairman and top executives of Korea's Harim Group visited NCC on Thursday, after making the successful bid for Allen Family Foods. From left to right: In Kyu Lee, president of the planning team; Bill Roenigk, NCC senior vice president and chief economist; Moon-Yong Lee, president of Harim & Co.; Hong Kuk Kim, chairman of Harim Group; NCC President Mike Brown; and Tae Kyun Lee, general manager of the planning team. Not pictured: Kyu Yun Whang, chief of the Harim Group secretariat. (Photo by Harim Group.)

“As soon as practical, the company will be adding jobs in the community under an expansion plan looking to add employees, growers and other service needs,” Mountaire said in a statement.

Chairman Kim said Harim plans to cultivate ethnic markets in the United States with value-added products and also export product back to Korea and other Asian markets.

 Charles “Chick” Allen, last of a 92-year line of family managers of the company, told the Wilmington News Journal that he entertained chairman Kim for about two hours at his home in Seaford last month.

 “We talked about the company and what they would like to do.  Very nice people,” Allen said. “Keeping the operations open, people employed and growers’ houses full of chickens have been ongoing major concerns to the family throughout this difficult process.”