N.Y. processor plans to buy canner Allens in $148 million deal

Sale subject to court approval

Posted: December 17, 2013 at 8:27 a.m.

A New York-based canned food processor says it has entered into an agreement to purchase Siloam Springs-based canner Allens, which filed for bankruptcy earlier this year.

Seneca Foods Corp. said the $148 million deal covers "substantially all the operating assets of Allens, Inc." The deal is said to be subject to a "working capital adjustment, plus the assumption of certain liabilities."

The deal is subject to bankruptcy court approval and an auction, Seneca said in a statement.

"If the Company is ultimately successful in its acquisition of these assets, they will fit with the Company's long-term growth objective to expand its line of canned vegetable offerings to include sweet potatoes, southern vegetables, and broaden its offerings of dry beans and spinach," Seneca Foods said.

Allens filed for bankruptcy in October, listing more than 3,600 creditors and assets and liabilities each estimated between $100 million and $500 million.

Allens earlier this year consolidated some of its Van Buren operations into a Siloam Springs plant, resulting in some layoffs and affecting about 150 workers.

In 2011, the company ended merger talks with a New York-based company without reaching a deal and in March 2012 said it would sell most of its frozen vegetables division to a French company.

In 2012, the company reported operating more than a dozen facilities and distribution centers in several states and said it employed about 1,700 people.