Negotiations are ongoing in the multimillion dollar bankruptcy case of a defunct California packer-shipper that includes dozens of produce suppliers who are owed an as-yet-undetermined amount under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act.
Market 52 Inc., which did business as Premier Pacific Trading, Visalia, Calif., is working with other parties in the case to determine which claims are secured under the act, said Kaleb Judy, an attorney with Klein, Denatale, Golden, Cooper, Rosenlieb & Kimball LLP, the Bakersfield, Calif., law firm representing Market 52.
Judy said a big wrinkle in the process is a claim by National Bank of California. The bank contends it is owed $3.3 million, according to court documents, and wants $1.5 million that Market 52 received when it sold its assets and the rights to its proprietary Brainberries product and materials to Dole Fresh Vegetables Inc. earlier this year.
The parties had hoped to have the PACA creditor list resolved by the end of this year, according to court documents. The bankruptcy filing showed the top 20 creditors were owed almost $7 million. More than 100 creditors were originally listed, but that list and amounts owed are not yet resolved.
Market 52 surrendered its PACA license in February, but on Dec. 3 the U.S. Department of Agriculture posted a notice stating it filed an administrative action against the company for failing to pay nine sellers a total of $842,429 from July 2011 through November 2011.
Market 52 was founded in 2005, selling fresh produce to retailers including Costco, Safeway, Raley’s, Kroger, Trader Joes and others, according to court documents.