Hines Sale Moves Forward

Hines Sale Moves Forward

Black Diamond Capital Management LLC will be purchasing Hines Horticulture, bringing one of the nation’s largest growing operations out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The asset purchase agreement was approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware this week.

Based in Irvine, Calif., Hines has seven facilities spanning 4,000 acres of outdoor and greenhouse production in Arizona, California, Texas and Oregon. Hines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in August and Black Diamond was secured early on to be the lead bidder during the bankruptcy sale process. No other bidders came forward with a better offer. The sale price has not been revealed yet.

Based in Lake Forest, Ill., Black Diamond is a privately held alternative asset management firm that manages about $5.4 billion in assets across hedge funds, control distressed/private equity funds and collateralized loan obligation vehicles. According to Stuart Erickson, managing director of Miller Buckfire & Co., which is representing Black Diamond in this case, “Black Diamond has a proven track record of acquiring substantial operating assets out of Chapter 11.” The newly formed entity purchasing Hines is owned by affiliates of Black Diamond.

Hines also filed an amended plan for its emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, which will be voted on by its creditors by Jan. 21. A confirmation hearing is scheduled for Jan. 28.

Hines owes more than $192.6 million to unsecured creditors with nonpriority claims. Ahead of them to collect money are secured creditors, like banks, and all tax-collecting government agencies where Hines operates.

The top 12 claims from unsecured creditors who are also industry suppliers include:
–SunGro Horticulture–$550,557 (Hines used to own SunGro)
–Syngenta Seeds–$516,888
–Ball Seed–$445,807
–Conard-Pyle Co.–$208,026
–McGregor Plant Sales–$205,007
–Simplot Partners–$176,118
–ForemostCo Inc.–$167,865
–Western Farm Service–$158,352
–Wilbur-Ellis Co.–$146,263
–Abbott-IPCO–$145,280
–Magnolia Gardens Nursery–$140,800
–BWI Companies–$107,185

Together, the claims from these dozen companies represent nearly $3 million of the $192.6 million, so the debt is distributed widely to hundreds of companies.

Interestingly enough, royalty agreements are a priority in bankruptcy cases. Court records show Conard-Pyle should be receiving more than $220,000 in royalty payments. Others listed include more than $10,000 for Weidners Gardens, more than $13,000 for Spring Meadow Nursery and $18,000 for Flowerwood Nursery.

Leave a Reply

10 comments on “Hines Sale Moves Forward

  1. I found the comment about royalties being a priority of interest. Recently, one of our licensed growers filed for bankruptcy. Despite being listed as a creditor we were not even able to find out how much royalties we were due, let alone any payment.

  2. Received notice of sale with last date to submit bids one day after last day to submit bids. Looks like they didn’t want any other bids other than Black Diamond’s. Looks like a “FIXED” deal.

  3. Does this mean that my soil costs will rise since Sungro is unlikely to recover much of what they are owed? Same with Ball and Syngenta. These companies sold out to Hines and HUNG EVERYONE ELSE OUT OUT TO DRY !!!!

  4. Lots of these same supplier/creditors are selling Hines again. Wouldn’t you like to have hundreds of thousands of dollars just set aside and have same creditors selling you? Hines is many a grower’s direct competition.

  5. The games go on. We better hope that the
    back room moves, will not tear down the
    Green Biz. This is the same type of dealing going on with bank bail outs and
    maybe Car companies getting bailed out?

  6. I found the comment about royalties being a priority of interest. Recently, one of our licensed growers filed for bankruptcy. Despite being listed as a creditor we were not even able to find out how much royalties we were due, let alone any payment.

  7. Received notice of sale with last date to submit bids one day after last day to submit bids. Looks like they didn’t want any other bids other than Black Diamond’s. Looks like a “FIXED” deal.

  8. Does this mean that my soil costs will rise since Sungro is unlikely to recover much of what they are owed? Same with Ball and Syngenta. These companies sold out to Hines and HUNG EVERYONE ELSE OUT OUT TO DRY !!!!

  9. Lots of these same supplier/creditors are selling Hines again. Wouldn’t you like to have hundreds of thousands of dollars just set aside and have same creditors selling you? Hines is many a grower’s direct competition.

  10. The games go on. We better hope that the
    back room moves, will not tear down the
    Green Biz. This is the same type of dealing going on with bank bail outs and
    maybe Car companies getting bailed out?

More From Top 100 Growers...
Sheridan Nurseries

September 3, 2015

Greenhouse Grower’s 2015 Operation Of The Year Sheridan Nurseries Raises The Bar

Ontario-based Sheridan Nurseries has long been an innovator in the Canadian market, but during the economic downturn, CEO Karl Stensson says the company decided to take things a step further. “We have survived the Great Depression, two World Wars and many other downturns in the economy,” he says. “During this last recession, our staff set out at being the best at what we do.” The company’s efforts have paid off. Sheridan Nurseries was named Operation of the Year at Greenhouse Grower’s Evening of Excellence, held July 13, at Cultivate’15 in Columbus, Ohio. The company was also awarded for Excellence In Perennials Production, based on its reputation for plant quality and the activities the nursery has led and been a part of, both within its company and in the industry at large. “We are elated and proud of our staff accomplishments,” says CEO Karl Stensson. “Over the last five years, we […]

Read More

September 3, 2015

Legalization Of Marijuana In California A Strong Possibility

The push for the legalization of recreational marijuana intensifies in California as proponents promote the crop’s agricultural and economical benefits.

Read More
More and more people are employing a landscape service, but that doesn’t mean they don’t still garden

September 2, 2015

Under Siege? Not Really, Just Go For A Walk

I have no trouble with people buying chocolates or wine instead of flowers to celebrate anniversaries, birthdays or peoples’ lives. We should all have choices. However, the other night I felt like I was entering the Republican caucus. I was minding my own business by the television set and became more than a little upset. A website called insteadofflowers.com came on the screen. It provided serene music and wholesome images of busy women doing busy things. It turns out that such busy women enjoy a small token of appreciation, but apparently their enjoyment, according to the voice-over, does not include flowers. This website delivers meals to the house, anything from beef brisket to beef bourguignon. It is a fine website with a good idea. But why pick on us? Why not use “insteadofbaloneysandwiches.com” or “insteadofgrilledcheeseandsoup.com,” “insteadofburgerdoodle.com,” or a dozen other things. When did flowers get to be the whipping boy? […]

Read More
Latest Stories
Top 100

May 8, 2015

2015 Greenhouse Grower Top 100 Grower List

The 2015 Top 100 Growers list represents the largest greenhouse operations in the United States. Greenhouse Grower magazine puts out a list annually based on environmentally controlled greenhouse space.

Read More
Top 100

May 8, 2015

The Top 100 Growers Tackle Crop Protection Challenges

We asked the Top 100 Growers how they have changed their production practices to address consumer concerns about pollinator health, as well as how integrated pest management and the use of biocontrols have changed their operations.

Read More
Top 100

May 8, 2015

2015 Greenhouse Grower Top 100 Growers: Reading The Ran…

For the second straight year, Greenhouse Grower’s Top 100 Growers survey shows the largest growers are rapidly expanding.

Read More
40

May 1, 2015

2015 Top 100 Growers: Young’s Plant Farm (No. 40)

Learn more about Young's Plant Farm, No. 40 on Greenhouse Grower's 2015 Top 100 Growers list.

Read More
39

May 1, 2015

2015 Top 100 Growers: Dewar Nurseries (No. 39)

Learn more about Dewar Nurseries, No. 39 on Greenhouse Grower's 2015 Top 100 Growers list.

Read More
36

May 1, 2015

2015 Top 100 Growers: Garden State Growers (No. 36)

Learn more about Garden State Growers, No. 36 on Greenhouse Grower's 2015 Top 100 Growers list.

Read More
35

May 1, 2015

2015 Top 100 Growers: Plant Marketing (No. 35)

Learn more about Plant Marketing, No. 35 on Greenhouse Grower's 2015 Top 100 Growers list.

Read More
48

May 1, 2015

2015 Top 100 Growers: Van Wingerden International Inc. …

Learn more about Van Wingerden International Inc., No. 48 on Greenhouse Grower's 2015 Top 100 Growers list.

Read More
50

May 1, 2015

2015 Top 100 Growers: Bailey Nurseries (No. 50)

Learn more about Bailey Nurseries International Inc., No. 50 on Greenhouse Grower's 2015 Top 100 Growers list.

Read More
26a

May 1, 2015

2015 Top 100 Growers: Bela Flor Nurseries (No. 26)

Learn more about Bela Flor Nurseries , No. 26 on Greenhouse Grower's 2015 Top 100 Growers List

Read More
34

May 1, 2015

2015 Top 100 Growers: Battlefield Farms, Inc. (No. 34)

Learn more about Battlefield Farms, Inc., No. 34 on Greenhouse Grower's 2015 Top 100 Growers list.

Read More
44

May 1, 2015

2015 Top 100 Growers: Post Gardens, Inc. (No. 44)

Learn more about Post Gardens, Inc., No. 44 on Greenhouse Grower's 2015 Top 100 Growers list.

Read More
43

May 1, 2015

2015 Top 100 Growers: Grower Direct Farms (No. 43)

Learn more about Grower Direct Farms, No. 43 on Greenhouse Grower's 2015 Top 100 Growers list.

Read More
2015 Top 100 Growers 75

May 1, 2015

2015 Top 100 Growers: Harts Nursery (No. 75)

Learn more about Harts Nursery, No. 75 on Greenhouse Grower's 2015 Top Growers list.

Read More
2015 Top 100 Growers 71

May 1, 2015

2015 Top 100 Growers: Van de Wetering Greenhouses (No. …

Learn more about Van de Wetering Greenhouses, No. 71 on Greenhouse Grower's 2015 Top Growers list.

Read More
2015 Top 100 Growers 71

May 1, 2015

2015 Top 100 Growers: Welby Gardens Co./Hardy Boy Plant…

Learn more about Welby Gardens Co./Hardy Boy Plants-Hardystarts, No. 71 on Greenhouse Grower's 2015 Top Growers list.

Read More
2015 Top 100 Growers 65

May 1, 2015

2015 Top 100 Growers: Corso’s Perennials (No. 65)

Learn more about Corso's Perennials, No. 65 on Greenhouse Grower's 2015 Top Growers list.

Read More
2015 Top 100 Growers 64

May 1, 2015

2015 Top 100 Growers: Bob’s Market And Greenhouse…

Learn more about Bob's Market And Greenhouses, No. 64 on Greenhouse Grower's 2015 Top Growers list.

Read More