A potential sale for the Kane Beef company fell through Monday evening, possibly leaving hundreds of employees without work at one of the city’s largest employers.
Judge Richard Schmidt, the court-ordered receiver of Kane Beef during the receivership process, learned at a hearing the potential buyer lost his funding.
That means no loan agreement and no money to buy cattle for the company.
Schmidt says the plant will scale down its operations immediately and employees will be furloughed, not laid off.
Some workers will stay on as the company needs to protect its assets for auction. Schmidt says he’ll ask the court to auction the company’s remaining assets at a hearing Wednesday.
If Schmidt’s plan is approved, the auction could be as soon as a week later.
Kane Beef is millions of dollars in debt both to suppliers and to the city for delinquent utility bills.
Once the company is auctioned off, there is a chance the plant could reopen. But Schmidt, a former federal bankruptcy judge, tells us it probably won’t be under the Kane Beef name.
If it reopens, all 750 employees may not be available. Schmidt expects some of the workforce to look for new jobs.