Apr 4, 2018
Michigan fruit processor to close doors, auction off equipment

A Michigan cherry and apple processor is closing its doors and auctioning off its equipment.

New Mill Capital, a national asset acquisition and disposition firm has been engaged to sell the equipment assets of Cherry Growers Inc. The company announced it would liquidate all assets at the end of January. Cherry Growers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in August 2017.

The auction sale, consisting of over 1,000 pieces of equipment used for fruit receiving, processing, packaging and plant support will be held exclusively online with bidding opening Thursday, April 12th and closing Wednesday, April 25 and Thursday, April 26.

The approximately 300,000 square foot facility primarily processed and produced apple and cherry products. Featured items within the auction include complete juice production and packaging lines, raw fruit receiving, grading and washing, IQF, extraction, juice presses, a 3-effect evaporator, de-stemmers, pitters, stainless processing and storage, canning, liquid filling lines and all plant support.

The April 25 closing will include all processing, packaging and refrigeration equipment. April 26 will include all plant support, lab, forklifts and vehicles. Additional information can be found at newmillcapital.com. Cherry Growers Inc. is located at 6331 US Highway 31, Grawn, Michigan. Interested buyers are welcome to attend open equipment inspections on April 20, 23 and 24 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. or by scheduling an appointment.

“It’s unfortunate that the company was not able to avoid permanent closure, however, it’s our hope that other producers in the region will be able to repurpose and benefit from the availability of the idled equipment”, said Eric Weiler, Principal of New Mill Capital. “This is a great opportunity for similar companies to immediately upgrade or increase production capacity before the 2018 processing season.”

With its humble beginnings on the shore of Grand Traverse Bay in 1939, Cherry Growers became an institution in the northwestern Michigan fruit industry for over 78 years.  In that time, the company purchased and processed hundreds of millions of pounds of cherries, apples, and other fruits.  Proceeds from the sale of those fruits were distributed to its members, who in addition to providing for their families, reinvested in the Grand Traverse region through payroll, crop protection materials, implements and equipment. Cherry Growers also supported the federal government in times of conflict and worked to ensure schools and other food programs had access to wholesome fruit products.

“Cherry Growers, Inc. has a long history in northwest Michigan and includes many icons of the Michigan Cherry Industry. I’d like to thank everyone, including the growers, suppliers and employees who made this entity everything it was capable of,” said president and general manager, Eric MacLeod.

New Mill Capital (www.newmillcapital.com) is a privately held manufacturing asset acquisition and disposition firm specializing in food processing & beverage plant equipment auctions and turnkey acquisitions. New Mill is a national leader in the sale of idle plant equipment and has also acquired and repurposed over 13,000,000 square feet of manufacturing facilities since 2011.

 





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