FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monmouth, Oregon – June 1, 2011 – Olsen Agricultural Enterprises LLC (“the “Company”) , a recently formed Oregon limited liability company created by the merger of Olsen Agricultural Company , Inc. and other affiliates, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Wednesday. The affiliated companies effected the merger in order to file a consolidated bankruptcy case. The filing with the United States Bankruptcy Court District of Oregon allows the private Willamette Valley company time to reorganize its business and restructure its debts.
The Company has significant term and line of credit loans with Rabo AgriFinance which recently issued default notices and began exercising its remedies against the Company pushing it to file for bankruptcy protection. The Company also has trade and other creditors. The new Company has executed a term sheet with Bacchus Capital, LP for $3 million in debtor in possession ( or “DIP” ) financing . The financing , which requires Court approval, will be used to fund operations and restructuring during bankruptcy. The Company expects to emerge from bankruptcy by the First Quarter of 2012.
“We love to work with innovators in the industry and to finance great brands. So we are pleased to be providing DIP financing to Olsen Agricultural, and look forward to a post – bankruptcy partnership on their wine and vineyard ventures ,” commented Sam Bronfman, Bacchus Capital Managing Partner.
“This is another example of our flexible financing capability,” said Peter Kaufman, Bacchus Capital Managing Partner. “The opportunity to be of assistance to Olsen in its efforts to restructure debt and operations through Chapter 11 was something we could not pass up .”
The Company’s board of managers, Robin, Roger, James, and Ann Olsen — said “The Olsen family greatly appreciate s the Bacchus Capital vote of confidence, and after the loan is documented and approved by the Court, the Company’s ability to draw on the loan to fund operations and reorganization will help us gain the support of our customers, employees , and suppliers . We are very excited about the opportunity to work with Bacchus Capital to continue enhancement of our wine and vineyard operations.”
The members of the Olsen family are long time farmers and have seen their operating revenues adversely impacted by sharply lower demand in the worldwide grass seed markets resulting from the recent recession that hit homebuilders and golf courses — major buyers of grass seed — especially hard . In addition to grass seed, the Company also grows grains, squash, peppermint, hazelnuts, blueberries, and wine grapes. The Company has had its roots in farming Oregon’s Willamette Valley for several generations and farms approximately 8,000 acres.
The Company has also engaged turnaround consultants Hamstreet & Associates to assist in its reorganization. Hamstreet believes the value of the consolidated Company’s assets significantly exceed its liabilities, and that the Company will be able to obtain confirmation of a plan of reorganization providing for repayment of all its obligations in full.