Arkansas canning company Allens Inc. seeks Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. – Arkansas-based Allens Inc. filed paperwork Monday seeking to reorganize its debts under federal bankruptcy laws and said it wants to sell what’s left of its frozen vegetables business so it can focus on canned goods.

Allens listed debts of at least $100 million in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, Arkansas Business reported Monday ( ). Such filings, once approved, let companies and individuals reorganize their finances through a court-approved plan.

In a statement, the 87-year-old Siloam Springs-based company said it wanted to become a stronger, more competitive business. It said it is seeking a buyer for its frozen vegetables operations in Montezuma, Ga. Allens acquired five frozen foods plants from Birds Eye Foods Inc. of New York in 2006 but sold four of them to a private group last year.

The company sells vegetables under the Allens, Princella, Freshlike and Royal Prince labels.

A statement from the company said its primary and secondary lienholders supported the reorganization.

“We remain firmly committed to serving our customers and providing consumers with great-tasting, affordable and high-quality vegetables,” company President Josh Allen said in the statement. “We appreciate the support of our suppliers and the ongoing dedication of our employees, whose hard work is critical to the future of our business.”

The company’s court filing lists both assets and debts in a range of $100 million to $500 million, with between 1,000 and 5,000 creditors. The company has 960 employees. Its largest unsecured creditors are Ball Metal Food Container of Broomfield, Colo., which is owed $46.2 million, and Crown Cork & Seal USA of Philadelphia, at $18 million.

Allens said it expects to have the money to pay its unsecured creditors.


Information from: Arkansas Business,