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Tender Hoped To Clear Up Junk Pile

“Our hope in doing jobs like this is that all the players will come forward. Unfortunately, I will be phoning scrap metal dealers as well, but the preference was always to find somebody to take it on.”

– COLLIN LEGALL

The bankruptcy trustee handling the assets of the failed Ranchers Choice beef slaughter plant is inviting offers on the leftover meat-cutting equipment, and hopes to have it sold off by mid-July.

Collin LeGall, of Lazer Grant Inc., the firm that is acting on behalf of the provincial government, which as a secured creditor now owns the equipment, said that if an acceptable bid is received, all of it will be sold as soon as two days after the July 17 deadline.

LeGall said that his firm was put in charge of disposing of the affairs of the failed slaughter plant in late 2007, and that involved dealing with unsecured creditors first. As for why the process has taken so long, he said that he could not provide an answer to that question.

“Unfortunately, we are dealing with a lot of metal and it may not go to someone who can reuse it,” he said. “In a perfect world, it would have been all tarped or in a building.”

LeGall added that returns on the sale might have been higher had it been sold last summer, when scrap metal markets were red hot. However, he noted that the price of copper has risen lately, and that some of the larger electric motors contain a lot of the metal.

The equipment could go for as low as 10 cents on the dollar, but LeGall said that the sellers are hoping for three times that or more.

“If every bid is really bad – not even 10 cents – there is another strategy,” he said. A public auction might be the fallback option to dispose of it all if the tender bids are too low.

All the equipment is being sold together as a single package, and the highest bid may not necessarily be accepted.

“We will go back to the government for advice and direction as to what they will take,” he said.

“Our hope in doing jobs like this is that all the players will come forward. Unfortunately, I will be phoning scrap metal dealers as well, but the preference was always to find somebody to take it on.”

The larger pieces of equipment are currently being stored outside near Dauphin, while smaller, more sensitive equipment has been kept indoors. Electronic parts are being kept at an indoor site near Brandon.

All will be sold on an “as is, where is” basis, he added, and must be removed from the storage sites by July 31. Bidders must enclose a 15 per cent deposit with their application.

The equipment includes a staggering array of slaughter equipment, from a 75-horsepower compressor unit, blood transfer pump and tank, offal conveyor, gut buggy complete with rail, handwash trough, and much, much more, including a 30-minute video detailing the entire operation at its former site in Washington state. [email protected]

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