Horticultural catalogers Jackson & Perkins Co. and George W. Park Seed Co. – which in April filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy – will be staying in Greenwood, S.C. following an Aug. 23 auction.
Private equity firm Blackstreet Capital’s bid of nearly $12.8 million was accepted and the new owner of Park Seed and Jackson & Perkins aims to keep the catalogers where they are.
Private equity firm Verdero Capital and multicultural horticultural mailer Gardens Alive! were the other two bidders, according to Barbara Barton, the attorney for Park Seed.
Although Blackstreet Capital did not offer the highest monetary bid, Barton says it guaranteed that at least 150 current employees would keep their jobs for at least three years. Blackstreet agreed to continue operations in Greenwood for at least three years or face a penalty of $500,000 to the state and $500,000 to Greenwood County if it opted to relocate the businesses.
“I’m very pleased,” Barton says. “It guarantees the continuation of this business in a community with massive unemployment. The employees are very happy. The community is very happy. Everybody in the community really wanted this.”
Barton says company employment is highly seasonal, ranging from less than 200 workers at one time during the year to as many as 350 during peak time.
What’s more, Barton says Blackstreet Capital has a long history of returning companies to profitability. “It was a good outcome,” she says of the bankruptcy auction.
When Park Seed filed Chapter 11, it listed assets of $8.33 million and liabilities of $44.79 million.