With no prospective buyers for its defunct beef slaughter and processing facilities, Bartels Packing of Eugene, Ore., will proceed with an auction of its assets on Dec. 11.
The company shut down earlier this year but a court-appointed receiver, Richard Hooper of Pivotal Solutions, met with several potential buyers who were interested in taking it over as an ongoing enterprise.
Bartels Packing was a common bidder on organic and grass-fed cattle in the region, so its exit from the market was seen as detrimental for local livestock producers.
Over the summer, one prospective buyer submitted a “letter of intent” to purchase the facilities but a final sale never materialized. Last month, Hooper obtained permission from a judge to auction off Bartels Packing’s assets, with the provision that the event could be called off if a buyer was found.
In his most recent account of activities submitted to the court, Hooper said there were no longer any prospective buyers and the auction would carried out as planned on Dec. 11 by the James G. Murphy Co.
When reached by phone, Hooper said he couldn’t speculate as to why no buyer ultimately decided to pursue the deal.
A preview of the equipment will be held at three Eugene locations on Dec. 10, and the actual auction will be conducted as a photo slide show the following day. More information is available on murphyauction.com.
At the time of its closure in March, Bartels Packing laid off more than 140 employees and owed $4.6 million to cattle suppliers and feedlots. The company expected to repay its total $8.3 million in debt because its assets were worth an estimated $14 million.
“We have experienced significant difficulties over the past several months which have caused our business to falter including, among other things, a continuing decline in sales, accumulation of finished goods inventory, the recent and unexpected loss of one of our largest customers, the coming due of our line of credit and a shortage of sufficient working capital necessary to operate as a viable business,” the company said.