Altman Plants in Escrow to Purchase EuroAmerican Propagators for Plug Connection Facility Expansion

Ken and Deena Altman
Deena and Ken Altman are co-owners of Altman Plants and The Plug Connection with their son, Matthew.

Ken Altman, a co-owner of Altman Plants based in Vista, CA, has confirmed that the operation is currently in escrow to purchase EuroAmerican Propagators, the Bonsall, CA-based young plant and finished plant grower that filed Chapter 7 Bankruptcy on Jan. 23, 2017. Ken and Deena Altman are co-owners of Altman Plants and The Plug Connection, along with their son Matthew, who has recently bought into the family business.

The 55 acres of land and all of the facilities on it, which were previously owned by Jerry Church, a partner in EuroAmerican Propagators, are part of the purchase agreement currently in escrow, Altman says. However, it would not be absorbed by Altman Plants, which in 2016 was number 3 on Greenhouse Grower’s Top 100 Growers list with more than 11 million square feet of environmentally controlled greenhouse production, 62 acres of shade production, and 400 acres of outdoor field production. Altman Plants’ property includes ornamental bedding plants, container perennials, woody ornamentals, and potted foliage, as well as close to 500 acres of succulent and stock production.

Instead, the EuroAmerican facilities, which Altman says are in excellent condition and well set up for young plant production, will become part of The Plug Connection, the 350,000-square-foot young plant operation in Vista, CA, that Altman Plants purchased in October 2016. Combining the two facilities will make The Plug Connection a Top 100 Grower operation in 2017.

Jerry Church and John Rader, partners in the EuroAmerican Propagators business, have been friends of his for years, Altman says, so he knew the facility was nice and well-maintained.

“It’s a nicely set up young plant facility, and it’s close to our offices. In fact from my house, I can look over the hills and see it outside my kitchen window,” Altman says. “This seemed to go well with the Plug Connection. We’re having a good time with the Plug Connection. We’re liking that group and the crew and all the opportunities. And this is a chance to expand upon that.”

While it’s too early to know exactly what the plan and the timeline will be for the facilities, aside from increasing the Plug Connection’s business, one possibility is to expand the succulent liner program that EuroAmerican Propagators had offered. EuroAmerican’s trademarks on the Savvy Succulents and Celestial Gems programs might not be continued, however, as Altman Plants has its own robust succulent breeding program that includes all of the same genetics and more, Altman says.

Talks are also underway with breeders to get propagation rights, and many are already granting those, so now it’s just a matter of filling the space with new business, Altman says. He adds that because the purchase of the EuroAmerican property is so new, much of his time has been taken up with hiring staff and maintaining the inventory, but he is hoping to be able to continue to serve the suppliers who had alliances with EuroAmerican Propagators.

Altman Plants and The Plug Connection both specialize in succulents, among other crops.

The Plug Connection currently specializes in annual and perennial young plants from seed, cuttings, and tissue culture, as well as poinsettia, cyclamen, and succulent liners. It also offers grafted vegetables in the Mighty ‘Mato, Ketchup ‘n’ Fries, and Field Farms lines, provides start plants for certified organic seed herbs and vegetables, and has its own private stock of vegetative herbs.

“We’re looking for customers – growers who want a good young plant producer, whether it be seed or vegetative,” Altman says. “Between the two places, we have good facilities and California sunshine.”

Altman says he is also seeing former EuroAmerican Propagators team members come back to the operation for positions. Altman Plants had offered jobs to team members who were displaced from EuroAmerican Propagators over the months that the operation had trouble maintaining its workforce, and then when it went into Chapter 7 bankruptcy in January.

“But now that we’re in the situation that we are with the facility over there, many of them are going back, and we’re finding other people who want to come back, as well,” Altman says.

With California now out of danger from the past few years of record drought thanks to record rainfall in recent weeks, including an event last week that cascaded more than 4 inches into Southern California – the equivalent of what the region is used to getting in a year’s time – the landscape has been transformed. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean consumers are going to rush back to investing in their landscapes, Altman predicts.

“It’s too early to know,” he says. “But there’s probably been some permanent change toward water conservation.”

Topics: , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

More From Finance/Operations...
SNA Logo

June 19, 2017

SNA, MANTS Plan to Co-Locate Their Events in 2018

There is crossover appeal for participants of both events, according to show organizers, and this cooperation will bring value and potential new business opportunities for both audiences.

Read More
Heat Safety App

June 18, 2017

Protect Your Employees from Heat-Related Illnesses with This Updated App

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have released an updated app for smart phones that can help workers stay safe when working outdoors in hot weather.

Read More

June 1, 2017

Reimagining a Brand: How Did We Do With Greenhouse Grower?

Changing the design and content strategy of a brand isn't easy, but we think the new Greenhouse Grower will help carry our innovative industry forward and allow us to better serve your information needs.

Read More
Latest Stories

April 11, 2017

Jerry Halamuda of Color Spot Nurseries Retires

The co-founder of Color Spot Nurseries has retired, effective immediately, and has named a replacement.

Read More

March 21, 2017

How Greenhouse Vegetable Growers Can Prepare for a Prod…

The United Fresh Produce Association is holding a Recall Ready Workshop in April that is designed to help growers properly manage a recall, from liability to communications.

Read More

March 14, 2017

Expanded Customer Footprint, E-Commerce, Succession Key…

Costa Farms' acquisition of indoor foliage producer Delray Plants rocked the industry, but the story behind Delray Plants' sale is the same as for many growers struggling with succession planning. For Costa Farms, the strategic purchase expands its customer footprint and also fast tracks its foray into e-commerce.

Read More

March 10, 2017

Costa Farms Expands With Purchase of Indoor Houseplant …

Costa Farms annnounced March 10 that it has acquired Delray Plants, one of the leaders in the indoor houseplant industry. The two operations are committed to the same values, principles, and goals to grow the industry, and will fit well together to accomplish this, say Randy Gilde, CEO of Delray Plants, and Joche Smith, CEO of Costa Farms.

Read More
Ken and Deena Altman

March 7, 2017

Altman Plants in Escrow to Purchase EuroAmerican Propag…

Ken Altman, a co-owner of Altman Plants based in Vista, CA, has confirmed that the operation is currently in escrow to purchase EuroAmerican Propagators, the Bonsall, CA-based young plant and finished plant grower that filed Chapter 7 Bankruptcy on Jan. 23, 2017. Ken and Deena Altman are co-owners of Altman Plants and The Plug Connection, along with their son Matthew, who has recently bought into the family business. The 55 acres of land and all of the facilities on it, which were previously owned by Jerry Church, a partner in EuroAmerican Propagators, are part of the purchase agreement currently in escrow, Altman says. However, it would not be absorbed by Altman Plants, which in 2016 was number 3 on Greenhouse Grower’s Top 100 Growers list with more than 11 million square feet of environmentally controlled greenhouse production, 62 acres of shade production, and 400 acres of outdoor field production. Altman Plants’ property […]

Read More
EuroAmerican Propagators Greenhouses

February 14, 2017

Suppliers Comment on Plant Genetics’ Fate After EuroAme…

Since the operation’s bankruptcy filing on January 23, 2017, suppliers associated with EuroAmerican Propagators have updated Greenhouse Grower on what the operation’s bankruptcy means for them – and how it will impact grower customers.

Read More
Stephanie Whitehouse

January 17, 2017

Stephanie Whitehouse Takes Her Passion for Plants to Di…

Stephanie Whitehouse, who has spent the last seven years as the Sales and Marketing Director for Peace Tree Farm in Kintnersville, PA, recently joined Dickman Farms Greenhouse and Garden Center in Auburn, NY, as the company’s new Retail General Manager.

Read More
Laura Drotleff

December 6, 2016

Are You Driving Young Growers Away? [Opinion]

In a time when the industry is facing a critical shortage of both labor and skilled, educated growers, it's important that grower operations don't unwittingly turn candidates off to a career at their business or in the industry in general. Take a closer look at your hiring practices to ensure you are being inclusive and not breaking any laws.

Read More
Trays move on an overhead conveyor to the end of the production line, where workers carefully pack the cleaned, sized, graded, counted and sorted Calla tubers

November 29, 2016

Texas Judge Halts Overtime Rule; Here’s What It Means F…

According to Craig Regelbrugge at AmericanHort, the injunction against the overtime rule is welcome news for horticulture.

Read More
Craig Regelbrugge, senior vice president of AmericanHort - Feature image

October 25, 2016

Contribute To HRI To Help Honor Industry Advocate Craig…

In honor of Craig Regelbrugge's extraordinary contributions to the horticultural industry, AmericanHort and the Horticultural Research Initiative created a special HRI endowment fund in his name: "The Craig Regelbrugge - Advocates for Horticulture Fund."

Read More
Lucas Greenhouses Shipping

October 6, 2016

Greenhouse Shipping Costs Down, But Concerns Remain

Lower gas prices have led to lower shipping costs for some growers, but many continue to seek out ways to become more efficient.

Read More
Pansy ‘Cool Wave Blue Skies’ (Wave)

September 20, 2016

PanAmerican Seed Settles Alleged Trade Sanction Violati…

PanAmerican Seed, a division of Ball Horticultural Co., has been charged with violating trade sanctions to Iran over a number of years. According to a release from the U.S. Treasury department, PanAmerican Seed made 48 indirect sales of seeds to two Iranian distributors. The company shipped the seed to consignees based in countries in Europe and the Middle East. PanAmerican Seed’s customers then arranged for the re-exportation of the seeds to Iran. The release states that the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) determined PanAmerican Seed did not voluntarily self-disclose the alleged violations to OFAC, constituting an egregious case. “We believe that the settlement was extreme; however the alternative was to litigate with the U.S. government, which would take months, if not years,” says Todd Billings, Chief Financial Officer for Ball Horticultural Co. When asked what Ball Horticultural Co. has done to ensure that violations to trade sanctions do not […]

Read More
young-plants

September 20, 2016

The Top Young Plant Growers, And Four Critical Challeng…

In Greenhouse Grower’s 2016 Top Young Plant Growers Survey, growers discuss the latest challenges and opportunities in fulfillment, shipping, labor, and crop protection.

Read More
Cavicchio Greenhouses

September 6, 2016

Cavicchio Greenhouses Wins Inaugural Sustainability Awa…

The Sudbury, MA, growing operation sustains more than 250 acres of annuals, perennials, and nursery stock, with a number of practices to mitigate its impact on the environment.

Read More
Charlie Hall Feature Image

September 6, 2016

10 Insights From Charlie Hall’s Green Industry Economic…

With the uncertain current economic climate, Texas A&M economist Charlie Hall says now may be the perfect time to invest — as long as you do it smartly.

Read More
Penn State Plant Bud

August 23, 2016

AmericanHort Is Helping Plant Importers Adjust To New R…

A report from Craig Regelbrugge at AmericanHort says the government is implementing a streamlined system for imports, in which all required data will be submitted electronically through a single window.

Read More
Plug Connection Assortment

August 9, 2016

AmericanHort’s Plug And Cutting Conference Will Feature…

This year’s conference, which takes place Sept. 19-21 in Carlsbad, CA, features discussions on water, pest and disease control, and production inputs, as well as a biocontrols workshop and tour of local cuttings facilities.

Read More
Cannabis In Greenhouse

July 27, 2016

The Top 5 Myths About Cannabis Production Cleared Up

There is a lot of misleading information going around about growing cannabis. Industry insider James Lowe makes sure you know the truth about cannabis production.

Read More