Charles City Poultry Plant to Re-Open01 June 2011
IOWA, US - A chicken processing plant in Charles City is to reopen under new ownership – Charles Austin Ltd. and C-Go International Inc.
A Chicago-based company has purchased a chicken plant in Charles City that has been closed since January, and plans to reopen it by 1 September, according to Globe Gazette.
Charles Austin Ltd. and an associated but separate company, C-Go International Inc., were the successful bidders for the former Bushman Family Farms plant.
A US bankruptcy court judge approved the new owners' bid of $2.27 million on Friday last week (27 May) following an auction the previous day.
The owners of the Bushman Family Farms plant, Custom Poultry Processing LLC, had an involuntary petition for Chapter 7 (liquidation) bankruptcy filed against it by creditors on 20 January, the day before the plant closed. The company requested conversion of the case to Chapter 11 bankruptcy (reorganization), and the court granted the request.
Jerry Hegtvedt, owner of Cedar Valley Iowa Realty in Charles City, who is helping Charles Austin Ltd. with the sale and is acting as a local consultant and spokesman for the company, said the plant will be operated as a kill facility, just as it was when Custom Poultry Processing owned it.
The new owners will process whole chickens initially, and do further processing down the road, according to Mr Hegtvedt.
Plans are to hire 100 workers initially, he said. Those who were working at the plant when it closed in January will have to go through a re-interviewing process, but will be given first preference in hiring.
The new owners plan to increase the number of employees to 150 by the end of the year, Mr Hegtvedt said. A second shift will be added in 2012, increasing the number of employees to 250, he added.
Charles Austin Ltd. plans to ship 100 per cent of the product from the plant to Asia initially.
The company eventually wants to expand into the kosher meat market, according to Hegtvedt.
The Bushman Family Farms plant opened in late 2010 in the former All-States Quality Foods building, reports Globe Gazette.