Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Bankruptcy for Adak Fisheries

The end could be near for Adak Fisheries LLC, a little seafood processor with a hugely tumultuous history.

The company, which runs a plant for processing cod and other fish on distant Adak Island in the Aleutians, on Sept. 11 filed for Chapter 11 protection from creditors in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Anchorage.

You'll recall we touched on the troubles of Adak Fisheries only recently with a post about the company's battle with the local electric power utility.

According to its bankruptcy petition, Adak Fisheries has assets of $10 million to $50 million, with liabilities estimated in the same range.

Some top creditors include Drevik International AS of Norway, $3.8 million; Aleut Enterprise LLC of Anchorage, $1.3 million; Muir Milach Management LLC of Mercer Island, Wash., $402,000; TDX Adak Generating LLC of Anchorage, $268,000; Trident Seafoods Corp. of Seattle, $255,000; and the IRS, $231,000.

At least one creditor is in no mood to allow Adak Fisheries to reorganize its business.

Independence Bank, which says it loaned Adak Fisheries and founder Kjetil Solberg $4.35 million in 2007, yesterday filed to convert the case from Chapter 11 to a Chapter 7 liquidation.

Independence says it "has a first position security interest in essentially all of Adak's assets."

I don't have time at the moment to recount the colorful history — the failed partnerships and political exploits — of Adak Fisheries and Mr. Solberg.

But I'll say this: Wonder what becomes of the fledgling town of Adak? The lone fish plant was a pillar of the economy out there and a major part of plans to turn the former military outpost into a viable civilian fishing town.

8 comments:

steve said...

Wesley:
Can I talk to you about the sac roe fishery?
Steve Reifenstuhl
Executive Director
Southeast Herring Conservation Alliance

I represent the 50 sac roe fishermen.

Anonymous said...

Wesley,

Adak will not become a ghost town. While the tempory loss of a fish plant is regretable, it by no means was the only business on Adak. There is a fully funtional 24 million gallon tank farm operating on Adak as well as several other businesses in telecom, bird watching, hunting, sport fishing, environmental research, hoteling, services, etc. Adak is also the designated home of the government's SBX and on-going environmental clean-up projects, which bring revenue into the community. Adak will survive to see better days.

Anonymous said...

BRIGHT FUTURE AHEAD

A 24-million-gallon tank farm? On-going environmental clean-up projects?

Maybe the tank farm folks can team up with the clean-up folks for periodic oil spills, otherwise known as "future economic development."

Linduh said...

There is potential to this island than most can see. If I had the extra $12,000 to spend, I'd buy one of the former Kuluk duplexes I lived in as a child in a SPLIT second. I'd love to spend my late summer months there on vacation to hike, fish for salmon, and to give my daughter an incredible opportunity that I could not possibly replicate at our current residence. The clean air. The peace. Mother Nature & Science lab, literally, at your front doorsteps. There is no other place like it in this world. I PRAY that the City of Adak will pull thru. They must. Give us about 4 more years, and my family will be able to afford that summer home. Stay strong with the Williwah winds, my dear friends. Stay strong.

Anonymous said...

Steve R. - NSRAA announced that you left and went to work for Silver Bay Seafoods, who do you really represent?

Anonymous said...

I lived in both Middle Amulet and Kuluk housing during my 5 years there. Since the Navy left it really has been all down hill. Obviously there can be no single source of income. A possible tourist visiting The Adak Island/Aleut Corp. website won't find any amenities listed as being available once you get there. Airfare from Anchorage to Adak is over $1100.00. How can anyone expect Adak to become a tourist destination with no lodging, food, or ground transportation? No offense to the Aleuts, (some I know personally who still live on Atka) but I think it is beyond the scope of the Aleut Corporation to both manage the island and provide financial inducements or assistance.

Anonymous said...

If any of you had any sense you would google Kjetil Solberg and see who the man realy is. read between the lines and see that he has struggled against many foes to build something great. His foes include powerful processors who are jealous of his vision and insight, and corrupt politicians who meant only to take advantage of him. I have worked for him on an hourly basis and I tell you he is fair and loyal. I respect what he represents. And that is the american dream.

Anonymous said...

I was on a tug (boyer towing) that hauled pier materials to Adak in late 2004. Adak fisheries pier was where we were berthed at the time. Sad thing is, we went to anothwer bay to hose off the barge (ILLEGALY) and had to "look out" and moniter the radio in case of approaching boats/ships. It is a sad thing that that beautiful bay was contaminated with God knows what from the deck of that barge. I hope that adak survives the economic downturn, and that other tug companies wont do what "diver Dave" the 1st mate condoned. Good luck Adak!