A potential buyer has made a pitch for Agriprocessors, the beleaguered kosher meatpacking plant in Postville, but stipulations associated with the sale make the deal seem unlikely.
Quantum Partners Inc., a Florida-based equity investments company, has made an offer that would include payoff of the $35 million Agriprocessors owes to First Bank Business Capital. The offer was detailed in a Dec. 11 letter to the court by Quantum principal Marxx Theresias. The deal stipulated the Chapter 11 bankruptcy, filed by Agriprocessors’ current owners in early November, staying in New York courts, as well as the Rubashkin family retaining part ownership.
It was reported last week the New York judge hearing the bankruptcy case has granted a change of venue. The case will now be heard in the Northern District of Iowa — along with the multitude of criminal cases that have been filed in conjunction with the May 12 immigration raid at the plant.
Quantum has not made formal comment as to the extent the change of venue will affect its offer, but Theresias did tell the Cedar Rapids Gazette that he is aware the various situations surrounding Agriprocessors could turn into “a media nightmare.” Joseph Sarachek, bankruptcy trustee, while not dropping names, but has stated that other investors are interested in Agriprocessors. Sarachek, according to The Des Moines Register, called Quantum’s offerings “a half-baked proposal.”
WHO-TV in Des Moines is reporting that state officials have said they do not want to see the Rubashkin family retain any ownership interest in the company. If true, the statement might partially explain the reason federal authorities have modified the criminal complaint against the plant and members of the mangement team to include property, trademarks and the corporate name. The trademarks would include such well-known brands as Iowa Best Beef, Shor Habor, Aaron’s Best and Rubashkin.
Not only will the parties face the penalties originally outlined in a Nov. 21 indictment, but they may have to forfeit a host of items that have been defined as proceeds of criminal activity, such as believed offenses of harboring undocumented aliens for profit and conspiracy to harbor undocumented aliens for profit. In addition, the modified complaint also seeks the forfeiture of all property used to facilitate the alleged offenses.