Chilean shipper Aconex closes doors

03/29/2011 09:20:12 AM
Andy Nelson

Chilean fruit exporter Aconex is bankrupt and no longer in business.

Two industry sources confirmed a March 25 story in Estrategia, a Chilean newspaper, which reported that a Santiago court declared Santiago-based Aconex bankrupt, with liabilities of about $50 million.

Aconex is out of business, the sources said, but should be able to meet at least some U.S. customers’ outstanding orders.

Contracted orders have already been staged for shipment, according to one of the sources. The company is unable to pay growers for that fruit, the source said. Aconex also is behind in payments to its workers.

The company will likely be able to meet its commitments for Costco, said the other source. He was not sure if the company could meet its commitments with Wal-Mart, however.

Aconex exported about 5 million cases of table grapes, stone fruit, cherries, citrus, kiwifruit, apples and other fruit annually.

Earlier in March, the bank accounts of two Aconex executives — president Fernando Barros and his son, Alejandro Barros, the company’s general manager — were ordered seized by a Santiago court.

Alejandro Barros did not return a request for comment.

The Barroses had been involved in a lawsuit regarding ownership of the company, according to an earlier media report.



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