MARION, N.Y. — Seneca Foods Corp. has agreed to acquire substantially all the operating assets of Allens, Inc. for approximately $148 million as part of a “stalking horse bid” for the bankrupt company. Based in Siloam Springs, Ark., Allens is a family-owned and operated vegetable processor with about 1,175 employees. In addition to the Allens brand, the company’s brands include Popeye Spinach, Princella, Freshlike and Royal Prince.
The transaction is expected to be consummated through a court-supervised process under Section 363 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and is subject to an auction and bankruptcy court approval. Allens filed a petition for Chapter 11 on Oct. 28.
Allens will be seeking bankruptcy court approval of Seneca’s asset purchase agreement as the stalking horse bid and certain bid procedures at a hearing in the near future.
Seneca said if it is successful in its acquisition of Allens’ assets, they will fit with its long-term growth objective “to expand its line of canned vegetable offerings to include sweet potatoes, southern vegetables, and broaden its offerings of dry beans and spinach.”
The two companies first announced their intent to merge in a stock-for-stock transaction back in July 2011, but negotiations fell through and merger talks were terminated in September 2011.Seneca Foods is a processor of canned fruits and vegetables with manufacturing plant located throughout the United States. Its products are sold under the Libby's, Blue Boy, Aunt Nellie’s Farm Kitchen, Stokely’s, READ, Seneca Farms and Seneca labels as well as through the private label and industrial markets. In addition, under an alliance with General Mills Operations, L.L.C., a successor to the Pillsbury Co. and a subsidiary of General Mills, Inc., Seneca produces canned and frozen vegetables, which are sold by General Mills Operations, L.L.C. under the Green Giant label.