Stacy’s Inc. has filed for Chaper 11 bankruptcy protection in order to facilitate an upcoming sale.
“The process is going forward the way we had hoped,” says Stacy’s President Tim Brindley. “The court has approved a working budget to keep everything moving forward through July 26, and we have another hearing soon to approve a budget through August.”
With the company going through Chapter 11 proceedings, any sale will be an asset purchase rather than a sale of the company. The business will no longer carry the Stacy’s name.
“We have been in negotiations with a potential buyer for several months, and have a signed asset purchase agreement in place,” Brindley says. “Everything has to be approved by the courts and there are a lot of steps that still have to take place, but the goal is to have the sale complete by the end of August. The sale of Stacy’s will allow the new combined company to emerge as a very strong player in the nursery industry.”
The potential buyer has pledged to keep 95 percent of Stacy’s current staff, a condition that was important to Brindley and his management team. “The end result is going to be positive for all of our employees. That was my first concern. They will be protected and taken care of in all of this,” he says. “That’s a very positive thing.”
Stacy’s customers should also experience continuity. Much of the company’s perennials-heavy mix would be new for the potential buyer, Brindley says, so they will be working together on continuing Stacy’s successful programs.
“They understand we have a lot of experience and expertise with what we do. We built the customer base and these categories and they see the value in continuing that. For all of our customers it’s going to be business as usual.”
Stacy’s serves retail stores in 24 states along the East Coast and into the Midwest. The operation includes a wholesale farm in York, S.C., garden centers in York and in Shelby, N.C., and a propagation center in Pendleton, S.C. Stacy’s Greenhouses is number 71 on Greenhouse Grower’s Top 100 Growers list, with 1,045,000 square feet of production area.
An article on HeraldOnline.com reports on the creditors with the largest amount of unsecured claims in the bankruptcy filing:
Express Seed of Cleveland, $1.35 million
Container Centralen of Winter Garden, Fla., $1.1 million
Sun Gro Horticulture of Chicago, $815,227
Bank of the West, Temecula, Calif., $547,912
Ednie Flowers Bulb of Fredon, N.J., unknown
East Jordan Plastics of East Jordan, Mich., $436,224