When last we visited the subject of the Adak fish plant, a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge in Anchorage had just approved a sale of the operation to an outfit called Adak Seafood.
So, end of story, right? Adak Seafood starts processing lots of fine Aleutian Islands fish and crab and that's that.
Well, hold onto your codfish.
The landlord out on Adak Island, Aleut Enterprise, last week hit Adak Seafood with a "notice to quit," which I've posted here.
The notice advised Adak Seafood it had no right to occupy the property and further, the existing lease would expire at the end of December. The company was told to clear out right away or face "a civil action to remove you from the premises."
Aleut Enterprise President Rudy Tsukada signed the notice.
That Aleut would present the notice is no surprise considering the lawsuit that's been raging alongside the bankruptcy case that led to the processor's sale.
The side suit, known in bankruptcy parlance as an adversary proceeding, was brought by Independence Bank of Rhode Island, which is trying to salvage nearly $7 million in loans it made to what heretofore was known as the Adak Fisheries plant and its founder and former owner, Kjetil Solberg.
Solberg, as we've reported previously here on Deckboss, is involved with the new owner, Adak Seafood. We also reported there's bad blood between Aleut and Solberg.
Anyway, Independence is in Adak Seafood's corner, arguing the lease actually should still be in force. Not insignificantly to Independence, Adak Seafood agreed to assume the outstanding loans as part of its purchase.
Lawyers for the bank further allege the existence of a "nexus" between Aleut, John Young and Trident Seafoods Corp.
Trident, you'll recall, made an unsuccessful bid for the Adak plant, not agreeing to assume the loans. As for Young, he's a Seattle attorney who took ownership of Adak Fisheries last summer and signed it into Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Sept. 11.
The bank's lawyers contend Young, Aleut and others "engaged in a concerted scheme" to either terminate the lease or let it expire rather than exercise an option to renew it.
Young argues Independence Bank lacks sufficient facts to back up the notion of any scheme.
Yes, dear readers, the whole affair seems rather complex, doesn't it? And believe me, I'm leaving out many details for lack of post-holiday energy.
Bottom line is the fate of the Adak plant is far from settled, with the scram notice coming just as cod season opens.
It gets worse.
Turns out our government, specifically the U.S. Department of Agriculture, guaranteed portions of those Independence Bank loans.
Dutch Harbor report
3 weeks ago