Northern Beef Packers in Aberdeen files for bankruptcy
An attorney for Northern Beef Packers in Aberdeen says the company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Aberdeen Attorney Rory King, says the filing took place Friday afternoon and no court hearings have been filed yet. He said more information would have to come from the company.
With Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a small business can restructure and eliminate debts and continue in operation.
KSFY News is still waiting for a call back from company officials.
Last week, KSFY News was first to report that people who work at the Aberdeen meat packing plant will go without a paycheck.
City leaders said Northern Beef Packers is a key business for the area.
But the company also has been plagued with delays for years.
Just six months ago it raised $150 million in funds.
So the city remains optimistic Northern Beef can find a solution to its money problems.
For six years, Northern Beef Packers in Aberdeen has had a rough time getting started. Now, it's having trouble paying its workers.
Aberdeen Mayor Mike Levsen said "we're optimistic and hopeful that the people operating the beef plant will find a way to make that function. The city government has no money invested in this whatsoever, so this is a private enterprise issue, not a city issue."
But Aberdeen city leaders recognize the beef plant plays a key role in the region.
"We support them, just as much, if not more than any business because of how valuable they would be to our area, and to our producers and to everybody in the city, and all the things that it would mean for us," Mayor Mike Levsen said.
Jim Barringer, Executive V.P. of the Aberdeen Development Corporation said "I believe in the long run it will be up and running. They're going through difficult times right now, but there's no question it's one of the major, however potential, economic engines that we see here in Aberdeen."
At the moment, Northern Beef shouldn't expect the city to write a check to keep it going.
"In a free enterprise system, there's just so much government can do and I believe in free enterprise. But the company themselves is where the responsibility rests for getting this plant up and operational," Barringer said.
And Mayor Levsen is hopeful the plant can turn things around.
"Our concern, of course is we're hopeful that it get's going because we want the employees to come here, we want the farmers and ranchers to profit and we hope it works out," Mayor Mike Levsen said..
Northern Beef hopes to be able to pay it's staff next week.
Barringer calls the plant an asset not just for Aberdeen but for northeast South Dakota, southeast North Dakota and western Minnesota.