A Durham, N.C., firm plans to buy the operating assets of Blueberry Plastic Mill Corp. of Des Moines, Iowa, and move them to North Carolina. Rainforest Polymers LLC of Durham agreed to pay $130,000 for Blueberry's assets after unsecured creditors did not approve Blueberry's plan to reorganize under Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Rainforest hopes to complete the transaction in mid-April, according to David Rosenthal, Rainfor-est's lawyer.
Blueberry recycled a range of post-consumer plastic, mainly high density polyethylene milk jugs, milk crates and Target shopping carts, into pellets. It sold pellets to plastics processors and also contracted outside firms to injection mold the recycled resin into pet dishes, garden tools and other products, according to John Neubauer, Blueberry's president.
Neubauer said the operating assets include a complete recycling line with grinders, washers and pelleting machinery.
Rosenthal said the new owners are not sure if they will continue the molded recycled products business. He said the owners also own custom molding capacity in North Carolina, but he would not identify them. Neubauer said the new owners did some custom molding for Blueberry; Rosenthal did not confirm that statement.
Blueberry hoped to pay off its debt by giving creditors stock for 80 percent of money owed and cash for the rest. It also planned to raise $500,000 in operating funds from private investors but was unsuccessful when creditors recently rejected the stock plan. It filed the reorganization plan in September.
Iowa Business Development Credit Corp., owed approximately $225,000, will receive the $130,000 from Blueberry's sale. Neubauer expects to work with the new owners for about three months to help in the transition. He hoped to sell the assets to Engineered Plastics Components Inc. of Brooklyn, Iowa, but the firm withdrew its offer April 2. When Blueberry filed for reorganization it listed its assets at $1.3 million and liabilities at $1.7 million. Its creditors included local investors and companies and federal, state and city agencies.