Hines Up For Auction

Hines Nurseries could have a new owner by the end of the month, according to legal documents filed in a federal bankruptcy court in Delaware.

The North County Times, a newspaper in Southern California, reports that bids in the auction are to be submitted to the bankruptcy court by Feb. 23, with a hearing scheduled for Feb. 28 to announce a winning bidder.

In January, Hines filed a notice for planned layoffs with the state Employment Development Department under the California Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. The WARN law requires certain employers to give affected employees at least 60 days advance written notice of an intended plant closing or mass layoff.

The notice doesn’t necessarily mean that the layoffs will occur. In the case of Hines, because the business is being sold through an auction process in bankruptcy court, the new buyer would decide who is retained, or if the operation is expanded under new ownership, says Dan Margolis, a spokesman for Hines.

“The industry has been hard hit,” Margolis told the North County Times. “It’s a reflection of the deep recession, and the housing downturn, Margolis said.

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