Largest California stone fruit producer files for bankruptcy hoping to sell business
Prima Wawona, the largest stone fruit producer in California’s Central Valley, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Oct. 13, hoping to facilitate the sale of the company.
The company pointed the filing at “significant headwinds, including increased costs and weather-related impacts, that have combined to make our existing capital structure unsustainable.”
Reuters reports that the company, owned by private equity firm Paine Schwartz Partners, has about $679 million in debt, and plans to sell its business in bankruptcy, according to bankruptcy court documents.
Prima farms peaches, nectarines, plums, and apricots on its 18,000 acres in California's San Joaquin Valley.
If no buyer emerges, Prima will pivot to a debt restructuring or a liquidation of its business, according to court documents.
The company was formed from a 2019 merger of Gerawan Farming Inc. and Wawona Packing Company. The company had over $300 million in sales revenue in 2022, with 60% of that coming from the sale of peaches, according to court documents.