Cedenco receivership challenged

The major shareholder of Cedenco Foods claims ANZ National Bank had no justification in putting Cedenco into receivership this week and is seeking legal advice on the matter.

The directors of SK Foods International argue ANZ breached the terms of an agreement it had with Cedenco and the decision "serves only to discourage foreign investment in New Zealand," a statement issued by Kensington Swan said.

Cedenco Foods – a Hawke’s Bay fruit and vegetable processor – is likely to be sold after Michael Stiassny and Brendon Gibson of KordaMetha were appointed as receivers yesterday.

In May, SK Foods in the United States, was preparing to start voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Mr Gibson said yesterday that while the business would be sold it was continuing to operate with the support of funding from ANZ National.

“Growers who have planted crops for Cedenco should also be reassured there is funding to enable Cedenco Foods to purchase those crops,” the receivers said in a release this morning.

ANZ has also appointed receives into SK Foods Australia, Cedenco JV Australia and SS Farmers Australia.

Cedenco has the largest tomato processing factory in the Southern Hemisphere in Echuca in Victoria. It is one of New Zealand's biggest vegetable processors, with two Gisborne factories, a processing plant at Whakatu in Hawke's Bay and a business in Ohakune.

In the US, two former SK Foods executives are facing federal price fixing charges in relation to tomato products.


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