NatureSweet acquires most Eurofresh assets

Texas-based NatureSweet Ltd. has acquired most assets of Willcox-based tomato grower Eurofresh Inc. in a bankruptcy auction, as proposed under the company's Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in January.

The acquisition took place through a special procedure that allows a company filing for bankruptcy to immediately market its assets to bidders. The sale to NatureSweet was approved Wednesday by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Eileen W. Hollowell.

The total purchase price was not immediately available. Prior to Eurofresh's bankruptcy filing, a company set up by NatureSweet purchased essentially all of Eurofresh's senior secured debt, about $51 million worth, and signed an agreement to buy the company, subject to higher offers.

NatureSweet planned to submit a bid for $51.2 million, plus any money the company lends to Eurofresh and interest, fees and costs, Eurofresh's filing said.

NatureSweet and Eurofresh are two of the leading producers of fresh tomatoes in North America. Eurofresh has more than 300 acres of greenhouses in Willcox and Snowflake.

Gas prices fall

Gasoline prices around Arizona fell for the third consecutive week, according to AAA Arizona. On Thursday, the average statewide price for regular was $3.68 a gallon, down nearly 3 cents from last week. Tucson had the state's lowest average price at $3.46 a gallon. The national average is $3.65.

Arizona Daily Star