Court approves NutraCea reorganization plan

by Eric Schroeder
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PHOENIX — The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Arizona on Oct. 27 confirmed NutraCea’s First Amended Plan of Reorganization, paving the way for the stabilized rice bran producer to emerge from Chapter 11 by the end of the year. NutraCea filed for Chapter 11 on Nov. 10, 2009.

“The bankruptcy court’s approval of our plan of reorganization is an important milestone for our company and further positions NutraCea for emergence from Chapter 11 before year end,” said W. John Short, chairman and chief executive officer. “I am extremely proud of the job done by our employees, who contributed to making this restructuring a success and are the foundation for the continued growth our company.”

Mr. Short said NutraCea has worked hard to restructure to enable emergence as a “stronger, more viable company.”

“Since mid-2009 we have divested non-core businesses including a wheat milling joint venture, a nutraceuticals distribution business, our equine feed brands and the infant cereal business,” Mr. Short said. “In addition, we have reduced payroll and operating expenses by approximately $4.6 million annually and strengthened our management team with the addition of Dale Belt as executive vice-president and chief financial officer, Colin Garner as senior vice-president of sales and the promotion of Leo Gingras to president.”

Mr. Short said the management team is rebuilding NutraCea by focusing on the company’s core businesses of stabilized rice bran, rice bran oil/defatted rice bran and rice bran-related nutraceutical and pharmaceutical applications.

“We are confident that this focus will provide us with a solid foundation to grow our company for the benefit of our shareholders, employees, customers, suppliers, creditors and other stakeholders,” he said.

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