Sunland peanut plant to be auctioned next week

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Updated: 3/14 9:36 pm

PORTALES, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico peanut-butter processing plant that went bankrupt after a salmonella outbreak shuttered its operations and prompted a nationwide recall last year is headed to the auction block.

The reserve price for all bidders in Thursday's auction is $18.5 million. That's the amount California-based Ready Roast Nut Co. already has offered to buy the defunct Sunland Inc. plant.

The sale seemed imminent when a bankruptcy trustee backed Ready Roast's offer. But the Clovis News Journal reports another potential buyer has emerged.

A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge has scheduled a hearing Friday to accept or reject the best bid in the auction.

Sunland attorneys had valued the company's total assets at $50 million when it sought bankruptcy protection last fall. It owes its three major secured creditors about $14 million.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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