Allens Inc. for Sale, Bankruptcy Filings Show

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Nov. 25, 2013 12:00 am  

Allens Inc. sold most of its financially disastrous frozen-foods division in 2012, and now the rest of the company is up for sale, according to documents filed in one of Arkansas’ largest bankruptcy cases.

As of last week, at least one bid was being put together to buy the 87-year-old Siloam Springs company from its founding family, according to an attorney involved in the case who asked not to be named because he didn’t have authority to speak on the record.

The attorney said he didn’t know the identity of the potential buyer.

A spokesman for Allens declined to comment on the Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, which was filed Oct. 28 and estimated the company’s debts at $279.9 million.

If Allens is sold, it probably wouldn’t be good news for the unsecured creditors. They are owed an estimated $101.9 million, according to an Allens’ bankruptcy filing by Jonathan Hickman, who is managing director of Alvarez & Marshal Holdings LLC and Allens’ chief restructuring officer.

“There’s no chance” that the unsecured creditors will get paid in full, said another attorney involved in the case who would only comment on condition of anonymity.

Allens’ two largest unsecured creditors are Ball Metal Food Container Co. of Broomfield, Colo., which is owed $46.2 million, and Crown Cork & Seal USA Inc. of Philadelphia, which has a claim of $18.04 million.

As of last week, Allens hadn’t filed its complete financial information with the bankruptcy court. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Ben Barry agreed to extend until Dec. 26 Allens’ deadline to report all its assets, debts and other financial information.

In its initial bankruptcy filing, Allens estimated its assets at between $100 million and $500 million.

One of Arkansas’ largest private companies, Allens has about 1,175 employees, with 448 in Arkansas. In addition to the Allens brand, the company’s brands include Popeye Spinach, Princella, Freshlike and Royal Prince.

Surviving the Depression

Founded in 1926 by Earl Allen, Allen Canning Co. survived the Great Depression and the severe droughts of the 1930s, according to the company’s website.

 

 

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