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NM plant mulled bankruptcy long before Oct. filing

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asunPORTALES – An eastern New Mexico peanut butter plant involved in a nationwide salmonella outbreak last year reportedly was preparing for the possibility of filing for bankruptcy for months.

Sunland Inc. filed Oct. 9 under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code, setting the stage for the company to shut down and liquidate its assets.

The Portales News-Tribune reports that documents filed in court indicate that the company’s board on April 17 approved resolutions to start bankruptcy proceedings.

Company officials continued after that date to seek a $500,000 grant from Portales and city officials say Sunland provided assurances about its financial health.

Sunland board Secretary Wayne Baker says the April resolutions were a formality and that company officials thought until October that they’d be able to keep the company going.

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