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12-year-old bankruptcy ends for Affiliated Foods Southwest

by John Magsam | June 11, 2021 at 1:46 a.m.

The bankruptcy case of Little Rock-based wholesale food company Affiliated Foods Southwest that began more than 12 years ago has closed, according to court documents.

In early March, Richard Cox, chapter 7 trustee, submitted his final account and distribution report to Judge Richard D. Taylor, which showed $20.9 million in claims abandoned and $91.89 million in claims discharged without payment.

The trustee distributed $12.91 million from the bankruptcy estate, with $7.35 million going to creditors and $5.56 million for administrative expenses, according to the documents. Of the claims paid, $1.23 million were to secured creditors, $2.28 million went to priority unsecured claims and $3.84 million went to general unsecured claims, according to the report.

The company initially filed for Chapter 11 in an attempt to reorganize its debts and then shifted to Chapter 7 to liquidate the company's holdings. Court documents showed the bankruptcy case was closed Wednesday.

In May of 2009, Affiliated Foods Southwest filed for bankruptcy protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Central Division, after more than 50 years in business. The company stopped operations in July of that year and about 1,800 workers with the Affiliated Foods and its associated companies, lost their jobs.

Affiliated Foods Southwest was a wholesale food distribution company that provided products, services and technology for independently owned grocery stores and chains in Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

The bankruptcy included $34 million held by more than 600 employees or members of the cooperative, according to earlier reporting by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. The investment plans, known as certificates of indebtedness, represented more than half of the $62 million of the company's unsecured debt. The certificates were a form of loan made to the company for operating capital.

A former chief executive officer of Affiliated Foods Southwest served federal prison time for a check kiting scheme involving the company as did the company's former chief financial officer.

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