Dates have been set and a trustee has been appointed to auction the assets of bankrupt East Coast Brokers and Packers Inc.
A series of live and online auctions for the farms, packinghouses, machinery, labor camps and other properties in Florida and Virginia are scheduled for Aug. 15-29 at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Middle District of Florida, Tampa (Fla.) Division.
Mulberry, Fla.-based East Coast was once one of Florida’s largest tomato grower-shippers. It stopped operations last fall and then filed for bankruptcy protection on March 6.
The appointment of Gerard McHale Jr. as a Chapter 11 trustee clears the way for the liquidation of assets through a series of court-supervised auctions, according to a news release.
Over the course of 11 scheduled auctions, East Coast plans to sell three packinghouses, two cold storage facilities, farming equipment, land, a hotel, homes and luxury condominiums in Florida and Virginia.
Murray Wise Associates LLC, which plans to conduct the auctions, recently solicited sealed bids and stated the trustee is evaluating the bids and may use them as openers for the upcoming auctions subject to court approval, according to the release.
McHale plans to use the auctions to gain the highest amount of revenue so the Madonias, East Coast’s owners, can repay their creditors, according to the release.
According to court records, the Madonias and their operations owe at least $46 million to MetLife Agricultural Investments, $5.6 million to Chicago wholesaler Anthony Marano Co., $443,000 to Georgia Pacific Corp., Atlanta, as well to other crop production services companies and suppliers and state and federal governments.