News out of Appalachia just minutes after midnight this morning: AppHarvest, Inc. has filed voluntary petitions for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, to reduce its outstanding liabilities as it pursues a financial and operational transition. Farms operations, including shipping of product, continue.
AppHarvest has also obtained a commitment from Equilibrium, the company’s largest secured creditor, to provide approximately $30 million of debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing to provide the necessary liquidity to support operations at the AppHarvest Morehead, AppHarvest Richmond and AppHarvest Somerset farms during the Chapter 11 process. The DIP financing, subject to Court approval, will allow business operations — including shipping product to the company’s grocery store, restaurant and food service customers — to continue at the three farms.
AppHarvest is pursuing a transition of its AppHarvest Berea operations to AppHarvest’s distribution partner, Mastronardi Produce or one of its affiliates, in exchange for approximately $3.75 million in additional incremental funding and support for the company’s restructuring plan. This transition is also subject to approval of the Court.
The company reports it is working diligently working to restructure the operations in an effort to maximize the value creditors can expect to achieve — and to preserve Appalachian jobs.
“The AppHarvest board of directors and executive leadership evaluated several strategic alternatives to maximize value for all stakeholders prior to the Chapter 11 filing,” said AppHarvest CEO Tony Martin. “The Chapter 11 filing provides protection while we work to transition operation of our strategic plan, Project New Leaf, which has shown strong progress toward operational efficiencies resulting in higher sales, cost savings and product quality.”
More information is available at https://cases.stretto.com/appharvest. Stakeholders with questions can contact the Company’s Claims Agent at AppHarvestInquiries@stretto.com, (833) 216-0292 or (949) 620-1088 if calling from outside the U.S. or Canada.
News of the company’s Chapter 11 filing follows news earlier this month that Martin had replaced AppHarvest founder Jonathan Webb as CEO. Martin has served as an AppHarvest board member since Oct. 2022 and as COO since January of this year.
A public benefit corporation and Certified B Corp, AppHarvest has operated its 60-acre flagship farm in Morehead, Kentucky, producing tomatoes; a 15-acre indoor farm for salad greens in Berea, Ky.; a 30-acre farm for strawberries and cucumbers in Somerset, Ky.; and a 60-acre farm in Richmond, Ky., for tomatoes. The four-farm network consists of 165 acres and some of the world’s largest high-tech indoor farms, created with the goal of growing affordable, nutritious fruits and vegetables at scale while providing good jobs in Appalachia.
Image: AppHarvest, Inc.