Altman Plants Writes New Chapter at EuroAmerican Propagators
In January, GPN reported that EuroAmerican Propagators in Bonsall, California, had filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the Southern District of California (San Diego) U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
Well, a new chapter is now being written for the plants and property that were once owned by EuroAmerican’s John Rader and Jerry Church. And it is being written by Ken, Deena and Matt Altman and their team at Altman Plants in Vista, California.
In February, Altman Plants purchased EuroAmerican’s plant inventory and is currently in the process of acquiring the growing facilities and 55 acres of property in Bonsall from Jerry Church.
I caught up with Ken last week as he was visiting one of his company’s facilities in Texas to see how these events unfolded.
Altman has known Rader and Church for years so he was familiar with their facilities and how they operated and he knew they were facing some challenging times before they filed for Chapter 7.
After the filing, Altman said the trustee from the bankruptcy court approached Altman Plants and asked if the company would be interested in maintaining the plants at EuroAmerican during the bankruptcy process — which his company agreed to do. “It went from there to discussing purchasing those plants,” Altman said. That transaction took place in early February.
“There were a lot of really good plants there,” Altman remarked. “Many of them require licenses to sell so we are working on getting those licenses so we can sell them.”
Around the same time Altman was purchasing the EuroAmerican inventory, he also was talking to Jerry Church about buying the property where the company was located. “Jerry said he was interested in selling it. We were interested in buying it. And, so we made a deal.” The transaction currently is in escrow.
Altman said there were several other bidders for both the inventory as well as the facilities but he did not know who they were.
Expanding the Young Plant Business
Altman said the acquisition just made a lot of sense to his business. The facilities are “really close to our offices. It is very convenient to the rest of our operations and we almost always need more space.”
More importantly, he said the Bonsall facilities will now be used to produce young plants as well as succulent propagation for Plug Connection in Vista, which was purchased by Altman last fall.
“We are going to continue the succulent program that [EuroAmerican] had there.” He said those products complement Plug Connection’s existing succulent program “so we are going to deepen [the program] and expand it,” he remarked.
“And now we have a nice propagation facility for anyone who wants to buy a lot of nice young plants,” he added.
Altman said they are in the process of staffing up the Bonsall facility. “Euro had a really good crew and we are eager to have people come back [to Bonsall] that understand how the facility operates.”
He said they would be adding more personnel as production ramps up there.
Altman said the Plug Connection acquisition has been “going really well” over the past six months or so. “Tim Wada has continued to help us run [the operation] while we look for a general manager and the crew there is a really good team.”
“We really see a lot of opportunities for building that business.”
What’s on the Horizon?
Altman has been in the plant business for more than 40 years so he says he tries not to look too far into the future when making his business plans. “We follow the opportunities as they present themselves. It’s always been that way.”
He said the past couple of years have been “pretty cool” as his company has continually expanded. “We are building our team and our business plan for the future.”
“We’re all having a good time. Business has been successful and we are pleasing our customers.”