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CA Investment Firm Buys Aberdeen Beef Plant

December 5, 2013, 5:48 PM by Ben Dunsmoor

CA Investment Firm Buys Aberdeen Beef Plant
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

A San Francisco investment company which loaned the Northern Beef Packers plant in Aberdeen millions of dollars submitted the winning bid for the plant Thursday afternoon.

White Oak Global Advisors bid more than $44 million for the plant which cost more than $100 million to build.
  
White Oak Global Advisors has loaned the beef plant more than $35 million dollars to keep it running, but court records show Northern Beef actually now owes White Oak Global about $64 million.

The group beat out American Food Groups from Green Bay, Wisconsin which submitted only the minimum $12.75 million bid.

While White Oak Global Advisors placed the winning bid the company's lawyer refused to say what the company plans to do with the plant.

After the court proceeding Thursday White Oak Global's General Counsel Matthew Caudill told KELOLAND News the company doesn't talk to the media.

However, the attorney who represents the plant's unsecured creditors and the employees who weren't getting paid did talk with KELOLAND News. He thinks the workers will eventually get their checks.

"I think at the end of the day they'll get paid in full," attorney Steve Jakubowski said.

But Jakubowski thinks it may take up to six months for those workers to get paid.

Julie Johnson, the executive director for the economic development organization Absolutely! Aberdeen, says Thursday's developments are good news.

"We know who the players are now, that's the important next step. They have a few things to work out with the court and a few other decisions to be made about who gets paid, so we'll await that process," Johnson said.

Despite the troubles of the facility in the past, Johnson says the Thursday auction is an important step toward making the Northern Beef Packers plant an asset for the community and region.

"We know we have the only state-of-the-art beef packing plant built in the northern Great Plains in 50 plus years, so it's an asset to Aberdeen. It's also terribly important to the cattle producers from five or six states around here, so we know it's a strategic asset," Johnson said.

Part of the $44 million winning bid includes $4.8 million in cash to pay off liens and back taxes.

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