Bankruptcy Filing Shows 59 Companies Looking to Buy Allens Inc.

Allens Inc., the Siloam Springs cannery that's filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy, says 59 firms are interested in buying all or part of the company.

In a bankruptcy court filing on Friday, Allens asked a judge to allow it to begin taking bids on the 87-year-old canned and frozen vegetable processor.

Allens wants to appoint one of at least three potential buyers as a "stalking horse" bidder, which means the bidder has the opportunity to match any other bids Allens might receive.

The bid would be for "substantially all of Allens' assets, or any portion thereof," according to Allens' bankruptcy filing. The filing didn't name the companies that want to be named as the stalking horse bidder.

Since filing Chapter 11 on Oct. 28, Allens has been "evaluating and pursuing strategic alternatives …, in part, to complete a sale or restructuring process," the filing said.

So far, 59 companies have signed nondisclosure agreements to conduct due diligence in connection with a possible purchase of Allens, according to the filing.

The request to approve a stalking horse bidder is pending before U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Ben Barry.

Arkansas Business reported Monday that as of last week, at least one bid was being put together to buy the 87-year-old private 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.

Allens bankruptcy filing estimates the company's debts at $279.9 million, with assets of 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.