Daily News: June 24, 2014

Tiger, Others Sell Quantum Foods’ Business

Tiger Group, City Capital Advisors and Schneider Industries coordinated the sale of equipment and inventory formerly owned by bankrupt Quantum Foods in three Bolingbrook facilities as a turnkey operation to West Liberty Foods in a $12.7 million transaction. The acquisition of the equipment and inventory was approved on June 19 by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin J. Carey, sitting in the District of Delaware.

In separate transactions unrelated to the bankruptcy but also directed by Tiger and Schneider, West Liberty agreed to purchase or lease the three Bolingbrook buildings that housed Quantum’s operations. The company plans to purchase the 220,000-square-foot production facility and 80,000-square-foot culinary facility, and agreed to lease the 250,000-square-foot cold-storage distribution center.

As a result of the transactions, Tiger and Schneider cancelled a live webcast auction for the former Quantum assets that had been scheduled for June 24, 25 and 26.

“The successful conclusion of this turnkey sale means that hundreds of jobs will be created,” said Tiger Director Andy Babcock. “West Liberty plans to immediately begin the process of restarting the operations at the facilities.”

“West Liberty Foods’ continued growth has put us in a position to make this acquisition,” said Ed Garrett, president and CEO of the West Liberty, Iowa-based company. “The Quantum facilities are well-positioned to support our existing growth plans and will allow us to continue to offer the high quality, innovative, and food safe products we are known for.”

The company, which plans to have 400 to 600 employees at the Bolingbrook sites within the next 12-14 months, will re-brand the facilities under the West Liberty Foods name.

“We were very pleased to see the deal completed as a single turnkey operation,” said Michael Pizette, chief credit officer of secured lender Crystal Financial LLC. “In addition to saving valuable time, the approach in this case significantly increased recovery for the creditors compared to a piecemeal auction. The result underscores how Tiger represents the new generation of asset disposition professionals. The Tiger team doesn’t just show up looking for value, instead they create it.”

Former operator Quantum Foods was launched more than two decades ago, as a hand-cut beef butcher. The company ultimately grew to an approximately 1,100-employee operation, supplying commercial accounts as well as overseas military bases. However, the recent withdrawal of troops in the Middle East, along with the loss of top retail clients, hurt its business operations, leading the company to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on February 18, 2014 in the Delaware Bankruptcy Court.

“Although this was a complex transaction, Tiger’s experienced liquidation division, transaction advisory services and disposition services teams were able to work seamlessly together to find the buyer and close the deal within about one month from the engagement date,” noted Babcock. “I’m very pleased that our teams were able, as usual, to leverage their expertise to close this deal so quickly and to help get so many people back to work.”

Previously on abfjournal: Tiger Group, Schneider Conduct Quantum Foods Webcast Auction, June 19, 2014