Jan 31, 2017
EuroAmerican Propagators Files for Bankruptcy

On Jan. 23, 2017, Euroamerican Propagators in Bonsall, California, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the Southern District of California (San Diego) U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

According to www.uscourts.gov, Chapter 7 bankruptcy “provides for ‘liquidation’ — the sale of a debtor’s nonexempt property and the distribution of the proceeds to creditors.”

After the filing, the company released the following statement:

“At this time we would like to say, thank you. We have appreciated all of our customers business over the past 26 years. We have received an outpouring of understanding and hopeful comments from many of our customers. We understand that this is not ideal and we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We are concerned for our employees, suppliers, growers and all those we have affected at this time. Unfortunately this was the only option for EuroAmerican Propagators. We hope for the best.”

John Rader, one of the founding partners of EuroAmerican, talked to L&GR’s editorial director Tim Hodson to get some insight into the situation.

Hodson also contacted Mark Broxon, Proven Winners’ executive director, to find out how the bankruptcy filing could impact Proven Winners.

While Rader could not go into specific detail about the financial dealings, he said it is “still early in the process but this is a time of grief and sadness,” however he is hoping for a brighter future.

Rader said he never imagined that EuroAmerican Propagators would develop into the company it became when he and Jerry Church started the company. “We never thought we would be where we are today.”

Euroamerican Propagators was founded in 1992 by partners Rader and Church. They purchased the propagation operation from Rader’s former employer, Weidner’s Gardens in Encinitas, California, where he was production manager.

EuroAmerican is also one of the founding companies of the Proven Winners plant brand along with Four Star Greenhouse, Carleton, Michigan, and Pleasant View Gardens, Loudon, New Hampshire.

Rader said the Chapter 7 filing came about as the company was seeking a new partner because Jerry Church was looking “to take less of a [financial] risk, slow down and move to the next [stage] of his life.”

He said the search for a new partner was challenging because of the complicated requirements of all of the parties involved. Due to the complexities of the business and the specific obligations of the individuals, the process had become very drawn out and was taking more time than they had to get a deal done.

Since a deal could not be struck and time was running out, filing Chapter 7 was the best available option for EuroAmerican, Rader said.

“It’s pretty tough to organize that kind of a transaction” in a limited amount of time, he said. “There are three parties with very different needs” and they were not able to meet all of their individual needs in the prescribed time. He added, “We are all learning a lot from this process.”

Rader also said EuroAmerican would not be a 2017 California Spring Trials site as previously announced. He is talking to other companies about future possibilities but things were still very fluid and it was too early for him to comment.

Rader is “very proud” of the role he played in founding the Proven Winners brand and he sees the brand continuing to flourish. “The brand is doing very well. Things are going well for [all of the Proven Winners companies] and the brand. There are great people working on the brand, and Proven Winners will do great.”

Mark Broxon, Proven Winners’ executive director told GPN via email, “The first point I’d want to communicate is to apologize for the additional work that this may cause for our customers. Our propagators are working hard to make this short-term transition as smooth as possible. We know that having reliable sources of product supply that are focused on the Proven Winners brand are critical to our customers. When the rumors about problems at EuroAmerican became more public, orders began to move to our other licensed propagators. And, since the bankruptcy news was announced, a significant amount of product has now been re-ordered.”

He added, “Regarding the impact on Proven Winners, this will be minimal. The situation at EuroAmerican is unfortunate and we are saddened by this news, but the existing Proven Winners propagators are strong businesses that ship throughout the U.S. and are focused on building the Proven Winners brand.  Improvements in shipping and logistics methods have led both Four Star Greenhouse and Pleasant View Gardens — from a Proven Winners and Proven Selections spring annuals standpoint — to already ship significant amounts of product to the west coast. Both Four Star and Pleasant View, as well as Walters Gardens (Proven Winners Perennials) and Spring Meadow Nursery (Proven Winners ColorChoice) have added substantial amounts of production space in the past few years due to the continued growth of the brand. So, in terms of future product availability, we will be fine.”

“This change will also have no impact on consumer demand for Proven Winners. Consumer awareness of Proven Winners has never been stronger and demand will only continue to grow.”

Broxon also recommended that growers and retailers be proactive in ordering their Proven Winners’ products this spring.

“We would like to assure growers and retailers that the other Proven Winners propagators are ready to continue to fulfill orders. It is still a good idea, however, to act quickly to move orders placed with EuroAmerican as follows:

  • Orders for Proven Winners or Proven Selections spring annuals plants can be directed to either Four Star Greenhouse or to Pleasant View Gardens.
  • Orders for Proven Winners Perennials can be directed to Walters Gardens as well as to Four Star Greenhouse or Pleasant View Gardens.
  • Orders for Proven Winners ColorChoice Flowering Shrubs can be directed to Spring Meadow Nursery as well as to Four Star Greenhouse or Pleasant View Gardens.

The same situation applies for branded containers and trays. Customers should inform their Proven Winners propagator about outstanding orders and our propagators will work to fulfill these,” Broxon concluded.

 

 

Original Story Posted: 01.27.17 — On Jan. 23, 2017, EuroAmerican Propagators in Bonsall, California, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the Southern District of California (San Diego) U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

After the filing, the company released the following statement:

“At this time we would like to say, thank you. We have appreciated all of our customers business over the past 26 years. We have received an outpouring of understanding and hopeful comments from many of our customers. We understand that this is not ideal and we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We are concerned for our employees, suppliers, growers and all those we have affected at this time. Unfortunately this was the only option for EuroAmerican Propagators. We hope for the best.”

EuroAmerican Propagators was founded in 1992 by partners John Rader and Jerry Church. The company is also one of the founding companies of the Proven Winners plant brand along with Four Star Greenhouse, Carleton, Michigan, and Pleasant View Gardens, Loudon, New Hampshire.






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