Jackson & Perkins, Jackson & Perkins Wholesale, Park Seed and Park Seed Wholesale all will be auctioned off August 23, and an initial bid has already been submitted for $7.1 million.
According to The Index-Journal, a newspaper in Greenwood, S.C. (where the George W. Park Seed Co. is located), a Maryland-based private equity firm has revealed it’s behind the initial bid and has said it would keep the company in Greenwood if it should win the auction.
All of the companies were consolidated at the end of July by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in South Carolina after the trustee in charge of them, L. Stan Neely, requested the move. It was made in part to allow the other companies to transfer enough money to Jackson & Perkins to purchase paper for its holiday catalog. “If JPC (Jackson & Perkins) does not obtain funding for this catalog immediately, the value of the debtors’ estates will be impacted substantially,” according to the court papers.
According to court papers filed in July, the companies had transferred funds between each other before the bankruptcy filing without regard to where the money came from, making it very difficult to identify specific creditors for each of the companies.
The companies spent around $1 million attempting to “untangle” the intercompany transfers and identify creditors. Instead of continuing on that path, Neely petitioned the court to consolidate the companies.