Saturday, September 6, 2014

Sofina buys Quality Meat’s plant in Mitchell

Sofina Foods Inc. has bought the hog-packing plant in Mitchell that has been in bankruptcy since May 31.

It went into bankruptcy soon after its sister business, Quality Meat Packers Ltd. in Toronto, went into bankruptcy.

Both were controlled by David Schwartz and his family.

The Mitchell plant operated as Great Lakes Specialty Meats of Canada Inc. It was built by hog farmers Joe and Miriam Terpstra who went bankrupt and had a couple of other owners before Schwartz took over in September, 2009.

The next year he got a loan of nearly $4.5 million from the federal agriculture department and $2 million from the Ontario government.

Farm Credit Canada is the largest secured creditor, holding a loan of $5.4 million. The Royal Bank of Canada is owed $2.1 million and other debts total $16.1 million.

Sofina owns the former Maple Leaf Foods Inc. plant in Burlington which is the largest hog-slaughtering business in Ontario.

The bankruptcy court did not reveal how much Sofina is paying for the 12-acre property and equipment. It did reveal that the sale is free of liens and other debts.

The receivers say they received 81 expressions of interest in the property, including some from farmers.