(Nov. 11) ARLINGTON, Texas — Fresh America Corp., delisted from the Nasdaq financial exchange because of poor financial performance last year, has gone private.

The move, announced Nov. 1, is designed to bolster Fresh America’s bottom line, said Mark Prowell, who joined Fresh America as president and chief executive officer on Oct. 1.

Prowell said the company spent $450,000 on administrative, legal and accounting costs on Securities Exchange Commission-related work in the past 12-13 months, and accounting costs were expected to increase 30% in the coming year.

ESSENTIALLY THE SAME

“The company remains the same, with the same ownership,” Prowell said. “ … It allows us to concentrate that energy and money to running the business.”

Fresh America stock was most recently traded on the Over The Counter Bulletin Board, an electronic trading service offered by the National Association of Securities Dealers. The company had been listed with that service since Dec. 13, 2001; previously it had been quoted on the Pink Sheets, a securities pricing and financial information provider.

Fresh America will still be listed on the Pink Sheets, Prowell said, but from a reporting standpoint, the company will be considered a private company.

FOILED PLANS

In the past several years, Fresh America saw two major plans fall apart. In 1997, an attempt to purchase Tom Lange Co. Inc., Springfield, Ill., was short-lived, and a planned 1999 merger with FreshPoint Inc., Addison, Texas, failed.

Prowell, a former chief executive officer of Sun Valley Fruit Co., Albuquerque, N.M., succeeds Darren Miles, who was named chief executive officer a year ago. Miles remains as director of the company.

Fresh America, which markets Green Giant Fresh tomatoes and bell peppers, also has facilities in Houston; Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, Pa.; Cincinnati; Atlanta; and Chicago.