Nurserymen’s Exchange was purchased Tuesday by Floramoda, one of three subsidiaries of Monterey Peninsula Horticulture, which also controls Top 100 Grower Rocket Farms and Growers Transplanting, a technology company focused on automated transplanting.
Nurserymen’s Exchange, another Top 100 Grower with 2.5 million square feet of greenhouse space in Half Moon Bay, Calif., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy two months ago. At the time, Nurserymen’s Exchange planned to sell its operation to an investor sometime over the next 60 days.
Considering Rocket Farms already has 5.5 million square feet of greenhouse space, the additional 2.5 million of Nurserymen’s Exchange makes Monterey Peninsula Horticulture the third largest greenhouse operation in the United States.
“Nurserymen’s Exchange has a long legacy in the industry and in its community,” says Charles Kosmont, CEO of Monterey Peninsula Horticulture. “The new Floramoda/Nurserymen’s Exchange relationship will enable that legacy to continue and thrive as we build on each other’s strengths.”
According to the Half Moon Bay Review, Nurserymen’s Exchange proposed selling its assets to Monterey Peninsula Horticulture for $4 million to pay its creditors and resolve its bankruptcy. Nurserymen’s Exchange has about $3.7 million in unpaid debts.
Representatives from both Nurserymen’s Exchange and Monterey Peninsula Horticulture were urging the bankruptcy court to approve the sale quickly. Nurserymen’s Exchange’s creditors, on the other hand, were asking the court to hold off on approval so it could receive more details of the sale.
“What the debtor has done here is attempted to give the creditors the bum’s rush,” Peter Bransten, an attorney speaking for the creditors, told the Half Moon Bay Review. “We haven’t had had a chance to read this agreement to find any holes, and there (are) many holes.”
Nurserymen’s Exchange also has 28 acres of land it was hoping to unload in a proposed $8 million deal with land developer RL Communities, which reportedly had an early interest in purchasing the land but has since backed away from a deal. Another attorney expects the land deal to fall through, though.