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Agribusiness Firm Sun World Files for Protection Under Chapter 11

October 05, 1994|From Associated Press

BAKERSFIELD — Sun World Inc., one of California's largest agribusiness companies, announced Tuesday that it has filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy law.

Chief Executive John P. Brincko said the filing late Monday in U.S. District Court at San Bernardino is aimed at protecting growers and vendors and restructuring Sun World's balance sheet.

"The action . . . enhances our ability to meet our obligations to our growers and vendors and ultimately to better position Sun World to capitalize on continuing growth and profit opportunities resulting from its expanding line of proprietary and branded Sun World products," Brincko said in a press release.

A list of California's top farms compiled by Data Harvest, a research firm, listed Sun World subsidiaries Treasure Farms of Irvine and Superior Farming of Bakersfield as 11th and 12th. They were listed with between $40 million and $60 million in annual gross revenues each.

Brincko said Sun World's capital lender, Caisse de National de Credit Agricole, has agreed to provide the company the use of cash collateral as interim financing.

Sun World is negotiating a long-term commitment for debtor-in-possession financing from its primary long-term lender, Brincko added. That financing will replace the interim credit and will finance the company's day-to-day operations under restructuring, he said.

"The immediate availability of financing should instill in our growers, vendors, customers and employees a renewed confidence in the company," Brincko said. "Sun World is in a stronger position today than it has been at any time in the past several years."

He said growers and other suppliers will receive timely payments and that employees will continue to be paid on time.

"Our customers . . . can be assured of an uninterrupted supply of fresh produce, including the many specialty varieties of fruits and vegetables for which Sun World is renowned," he said.

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