Plant Behind Great Peanut Butter Recall Of 2012 Sold At Bankruptcy Auction

Remember the Great Peanut Butter Recall of 2012? We learned that natural peanut butter (the kind that usually contains just nuts and maybe some salt) sold under a huge variety of brands all came from a New Mexico company called Sunland Foods. We were sad to learn that Sunland didn’t make it through the aftermath of that recall, closing in the fall of 2013. Now the plant will reopen with a new owner. It’s just not clear yet who that will be.

The plant spent eight months shut down by the Food & Drug Administration, then closed for good when Sunland Inc. filed for bankruptcy, saddening nut butter lovers across the nation. Chapter 7 bankruptcy means that a company shuts down operations, and sells off what assets it has, with proceeds distributed to creditors.

There are two companies vying for the Sunland plant: Hampton Farms of North Carolina, and Golden Boy Foods of Canada. Hampton Farms won the original bidding last week, and it appeared that they would The bankruptcy court was just about to approve the $20 million sale on Wednesday morning when Golden Boy Foods called in with a $25 million offer. Hampton Farms then raised their bid to $25.1 million, but has made it clear that they believe the court should go by the results of the original bidding.

Now the bankruptcy court has a dilemma: they can go by the results of the original bidding process, or they can allow the Canadian company’s bid, getting an additional $5 million.

Canadian Firm Wins Bidding for Peanut Butter Plant [Associated Press]