Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Kjetil Solberg — Adak survivor

Here's an update on the bankruptcy case of Adak Fisheries LLC, the company that owns the lone fish processing plant on faraway Adak Island in the Aleutian chain.

It seems the debtor now agrees with the company's main creditor, Independence Bank, that the plant and its equipment should be sold to an outfit called Adak Seafood LLC.

This sale motion the lawyer for Adak Fisheries filed indicates the buyer would pay $488,000 in cash, and would also assume the $6.7 million in debt owed to Independence Bank.

We learn a lot of other very interesting things from this and other documents filed in recent days in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Anchorage. To wit:

• Adak Seafood LLC was incorporated in Delaware on Sept. 4 and, as Deckboss reported on Sept. 29, is affiliated with Norwegian seafood company Drevik International. The court papers say Drevik was a major Adak Fisheries customer, and that "a group of Norwegian investors" is behind Adak Seafood.

• None other than Kjetil Solberg, who founded the Adak processor in 1998 but no longer owns it, "has a relationship to" the potential buyer, Adak Seafood. Solberg "would be involved in the operation of the plant if the purchase was successful," and in fact "may be in complete charge of the buyer's new operation," the sale motion says.

This would be a fairly amazing feat for Solberg, who has lost control of the Adak plant before, only to rally back. In 2005, for instance, during a dispute with a former partner and the plant's landlord, a judge barred Solberg from the property, the doors of which were actually padlocked for a time.

• The lawyer representing Adak Fisheries in the bankruptcy case writes in the sale motion that while Adak Seafood has made the only formal offer for the plant, the debtor "believes that there may be another offer coming, from Trident Seafoods."

The whole affair could reach a climax on Nov. 9, when a hearing is scheduled to consider the sale motion.


Anonymous said...

Crooks know all the loop holes.

DeeplyPissedatKjetil said...

NO! NO! NO! Of all the things we want for Adak, #1 at the top of the list is to see Kjetil gone forever! He's burned bridges that haven't even been built yet! How could anyone in his right mind imagine Kjetil running that plant again?

Anonymous said...

The debtor motion actually opposes the bank's sale proposal, not agrees with it.

Anonymous said...

Any company that puts Kjetil back on Adak might be in for a rude surprise. TDX power probably won't sell them any power, The Aleut Corp stated in court that they would not agree to negotiate in good faith with Adak Seafood over the building lease, and it is doubtful if they could even obtain a business license after the treatment the citizens of Adak received from Kjetil over the years. There's over 270 listed creditors in this bankruptcy, few of whom have had a chance yet to weigh in on this sorry deal.

It's not over yet.

signed PO'ed in Adak

Anonymous said...

If seattle-based Trident never brought their off-shore processor up to Adak in 2008, Adak Fisheries wouldn't be in bankruputcy today.
We as Alaskans have to learn to take care of own, and we should have protected Adak Fisheries, just as its done in Dutch.
At least we have another chance with this new company. Kjetil seems to be the only one who can operate the place and bring any business to this island. Wake up folks and see the big picture!

Anonymous said...

Go Kjetil!
Thank you for saving jobs in Adak! No one else does anything here but you!

DeeplyPissedatKjetil said...

The idea that Kjetil has helped Adak is laughable. The plant may look like an economic engine, but with Kjetil's tendency to pay his bills late or never, it sure didn't help the community. How much does he owe right now in back taxes to the City of Adak? How much is owed for diesel fuel and electricity? Kjetil has nearly killed the city by running up huge bills and refusing to pay them. Everyone else ended up supporting his lavish lifestyle. He has been jetsetting for years while the rest of us waited for our money.

Kjetil had huge back bills long before that Trident processor showed up. That processor was a godsend to the fishing fleet. Trident pays all of its bills on time.

Anonymous said...

I think Deeplypissedatkjetil's real name is Trident. or aleutian spray fish. definately someone who doesn't know the history.

Anonymous said...

The probelm with Adak/Kjetil/Clem's approach to all of this is that they have sought (directly or indirectly) an exclusive right to process fish at Adak...and to have a small-boat (read:captive) fleet to do their harvesting. From their perspective, I'm sure that's a good thing: people in the houses, kids in the school, and fish for the plant.

Nonetheless, such an exlusive privilege isn't necessarily a good thing in the big picture. Realistically, small boats can't harvest all the fish that are out there to be had.

On top of it all...they'd keep coming back for more. There were numerous deals/compromises struck between the industry and Adak/Clem...and a year later, Clem/Adak were back asking for more. That's no way to do business.

Anonymous said...

does anyone know what is going to happen? it sounds like kjetil and some partners are going to buy the plant and open it for business. That must be a good thing, right?
is anyone else out there going to do that?
is anyone else going to try to buy it and run it?
someone said trident was good for adak in 2008. Why don't they buy it? they are allowed to if they want to, aren't they?

Anonymous said...

The complainers need to rethink their positions. Kjetil knows how to run the plant and should. Sure, he made some bad business decisions in the past but Drevik International will probably be making the business decisions - why else would they get involved? So what if Kjetil will be doing the day to day operations?

We need to look at The Aleut Corporation. Why haven't they been putting the money that they were supposed to under their lease (read it in the bankruptcy file)back into the island? They want to get rid of the lease so they cut the island out. Read it. The Aleut Corporation was supposed to dedicate the money it got from Adak Fisheries to "Economic Development projects on Adak." Where have those been?

Let's put pressure on The Aleut Corporation to do the right thing and give Adak Seafood a new lease or the old one.

Anonymous said...

well said sandra... :)