Carolina Nurseries was acquired by a financial lender late last week, according to a story in The Post & Courier newspaper on Saturday.
The conglomerate, ZZ Acquisitions LLC—an affiliate of The InterTech Group—foreclosed upon the 686-acre nursery during a public auction after no one stepped forward to outbid the debt it was owed by the owners of Carolina Nurseries, according to the story.
ZZ Acquisitions loaned Carolina Nurseries $12 million in March 2009 to keep it afloat, but the nursery operation was unable to repay the loan or find other financial backers. The local county, Berkeley County, actually considered buying the property for nearly $17 million, but council members voted against the idea.
Though the principals at ZZ Acquisitions are not interested in being in the nursery business, they are in negotiations with other parties to either sell the facility and keep it operating as a nursery or purchase its inventory of plants, an executive told the newspaper.
"Our objective is not to operate a nursery," the newspaper quoted InterTech Group Executive Vice President Robert Johnston. "It is not a business we are comfortable with because we have never operated a nursery. The best outcome would be to sell the nursery as a going concern."
He called the acquisition a "last recourse." Most of the property is zoned for agricultural use, but part of it is zoned for heavy industry.
Carolina Nurseries President J. Guy’s only comment to the newspaper was: "We’re closed."