Farm entrepreneur to buy NORPAC cooperative

(Information from: Capital Press, http://www.capitalpress.com/washington)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Agribusiness entrepreneur Frank Tiegs will expand his Northwest food processing empire with the planned purchase of most of the assets of the NORPAC farmers’ cooperative for about $149.5 million.

The Capital Press reports the transaction is expected to close in October as part of NORPAC’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, which will allow the company to remain operational while restructuring debt.

Tiegs, whose Oregon Potato Co. is acquiring NORPAC, said he was drawn to buy the processor because of the “premium” green beans grown in the Willamette Valley, as well as the broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, squash and other crops.

Tiegs says he expects also to use NORPAC’s facilities to process blackberries, Marionberries, blueberries and strawberries grown in the valley.

The purchase will include NORPAC’s Oregon facilities in Brooks and Salem as well as its plant in Quincy, Washington.