The fate of greenhouse vegetable grower AppHarvest’s remaining facilities became clearer this week. Last month, we reported on the company’s bankruptcy filing and transition of its Berea, KY, operations to Mastronardi Produce, and its plans to sell its three remaining farms to investors.
This past week, Dutch blackberry nursery operation Bosch Growers purchased AppHarvest’s 12-plus acre facility in Somerset, KY. Bosch Growers had been looking for a path to expand into the U.S., and “this is a great opportunity for us to get a foothold in the U.S.,” said Wouter van den Bosch, who runs this company with his father and brother and will spearhead the new Bosch Berries Kentucky company.
Meanwhile, AppHarvest’s two largest greenhouses in Morehead and Richmond, KY, were acquired by auction by investment firm Equilibrium, which has had a long-standing involvement with AppHarvest and played an active role during the bankruptcy proceedings. When AppHarvest officially filed for bankruptcy in July, Equilibrium provided nearly $30 million in funding to keep their farms operational during the process.
It should be noted that, according to an update first reported by FreshPlaza.com, several AppHarvest suppliers are objecting to the sales. Dutch greenhouse building company Dalsem, builder of the Morehead and Richmond facilities, argues the sales should not be approved, because it would result in creditors’ outstanding invoices not being paid. Another party objecting to the approval of the sale is Aweta, a Dutch supplier whose sorting machine is at the Richmond facility, but installation and payment hasn’t been completed. They request payment of the final 10% of the purchase price and freight charges.
The results of the auctions are pending court approval, which is scheduled for Sept. 7. Watch for more updates on GreenhouseGrower.com.
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