In a move that might avoid bankruptcy, Salinas, Calif.-based Salyer American Fresh Foods is in the hands of a court-appointed receiver, who will decide the future of the company, which is facing massive debt.
Steve Franson, a professional receiver from Fresno, Calif., who has experience with distressed agriculture companies, effectively took the reins of the company May 6. Over the next two weeks, he will analyze Salyer American’s books and decide the viability of the vegetable marketer, according to a source familiar with the proceedings.
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Franson said he arrived at Salyer American’s offices on May 7, but he couldn’t discuss the details of his work.
“I will confirm I have been appointed receiver at this point in time,” Franson said. “It doesn’t serve the estate at this point for me to go into a lengthy discussion.”
Franson said he has “a lot of due diligence” and work ahead of him before he knows any specific information about Salyer American’s financial situation.
On April 29, three creditors filed a lawsuit against Salyer American, claiming $35 million in unpaid loans, the same week the company told its growers to stop planting.