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Archive for Thursday, September 12, 2002

ConAgra challenges Farmland warehouse sale

September 12, 2002

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— A subsidiary of ConAgra Foods Inc. has challenged the sale of one of Farmland Industries' fertilizer warehouses to a competitor.

Farmland, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in late May, announced last week that it planned to sell or lease its operating fertilizer plants, which could bring hundreds of millions of dollars.

Kansas City, Mo.-based Farmland North America's largest farmer-owned cooperative believed it had sold its Mississippi warehouse to American Plant Food Inc. during bidding Monday.

ConAgra claimed in court Tuesday that an August 2001 contract gave it the right to match any bid.

Attorneys for Farmland argued that future asset sales could be hurt if potential bidders thought their winning bids might later be overturned.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Jerry Venters said he would decide whether to hold a hearing.

Farmland owns a nitrogen fertilizer plant in Lawrence that has been inactive since May 2001. The plant is among assets Farmland intends to sell.

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