Color Star Growers of Colorado, Inc.
Color Star Growers of Colorado, Inc. (“Color Star” or the “Company”) is a leading grower and wholesaler of flowers and nursery stock in the United States. Each year, the Company produces beautiful annuals, perennials, combination hanging baskets, garden pots, poinsettias and Easter lilies in its greenhouses / distribution facilities in Colorado, Texas and Missouri. Since its inception in 1991, Color Star has grown to nine facilities and is the industry’s 4th largest bedding plant distributor (based on square footage) with strong market positions in more than 20 states.
In addition to slow housing starts over several years and a lack of growth in the wholesale nursery market, Color Star’s principal markets were hit with adverse weather conditions during the Company’s peak season in 2013. As a result, the Company faced liquidity constraints and filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Texas in December, 2013.
SSG was retained in September, 2013 as Color Star’s investment banker to explore strategic alternatives, including a sale of substantially all of the Company’s assets. SSG conducted a comprehensive marketing process which resulted in a wide range of potential buyers, including multiple strategic and financial parties interested in operating Color Star as a going concern business. The process resulted in the debtors receiving eight qualified bids for the assets in whole and in parts. The robust 363 auction lasted two days and culminated in the Bankruptcy Court soliciting last and final bids in court during the Sale hearing. In order to maximize value, SSG and the Debtor’s professionals selected three buyers to form a combined bid for all of Color Star’s assets. Altman Plants purchased the Company’s Giddings, TX, Harrisonville, MO, and Peyton, CO assets; plus equipment and inventory at the Austin, TX and Carthage / Jasper, MO facilities. Raindrop Partners purchased all of the Company’s Old Fort Lupton, CO and New Fort Lupton, CO assets, and Black Diamond Capital Management, L.L.C., an affiliate of Color Spot Nurseries, purchased all of the Company’s Sanger, TX assets. SSG’s knowledge of the annual and perennial growing industry and experience in running efficient and timely Chapter 11 sales processes enabled the Company to maximize the value of the assets.