N.C. Company To Buy Bankrupt Peanut Plant

PORTALES, N.M. (AP) -- A North Carolina company is hoping to buy an eastern New Mexico peanut-butter processing plant that went bankrupt after a salmonella outbreak shuttered its operations and prompted a nationwide recall.

Hampton Farms of Severn, N.C., apparently made the winning bid of $20 million in an auction Thursday for the Sunland Inc. plant. But a hearing to finalize the sale has been delayed until Monday afternoon in bankruptcy court in Albuquerque.

Hampton Farms officials told the Albuquerque Journal they intend to reopen the plant.

Sunland attorneys had valued the company's total assets at $50 million when it sought bankruptcy protection last fall.

The company owes its three major secured creditors about $14 million.

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