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Allens Inc. being sold

Allens Inc. in Siloam Springs will sell for about $148 million.

It was announced Tuesday that Seneca Foods Corp., a leading nationwide producer of canned fruits and vegetables based in Marion, N.Y. is entering into an asset purchase agreement with Allens.

Allens, Inc., a national leader in canned and frozen vegetables, filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October. It has received interest from several financial and strategic bidders, according to a news release.

In the news release, Seneca said it will be able to match all other bids. Part of the agreement is for Seneca to acquire substantially all of Allens’ canning operations.

Throughout the court-supervised sales process, the company will continue operations as usual.

Van Buren lost about 150 jobs after Allens Inc. consolidated local operations into its Siloam Springs plant in Northwest Arkansas earlier this year.

That consolidation came barely more than 30 months after a $30 million expansion of the Van Buren operation.

Though James Phillips, vice president of corporate operations, said the Van Buren plant would continue to process hominy, refried beans and snack foods for a time, that was only for a very brief period. It mostly has been used as a warehouse since then.

Allens Inc. sells vegetables under the Allens, Princella, Freshlike and Royal Prince labels. It is a family-owned and operated vegetable processor, began by Earl Allen as Allen Canning Co. in 1926 near Siloam Springs.

During the 1970s, growth allowed for the purchase of other companies and brands like Popeye Brand Spinach.

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