Newark-based AeroFarms on Monday said it has emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Since voluntarily filing for bankruptcy protection in June, AeroFarms has been streamlining its business with the aim of reaching profitability — something that’s so far eluded most controlled environment agriculture operations.
The company’s emergence from Chapter 11 includes approval from the bankruptcy court for its Asset Purchase Agreement with a group of existing investors led by Grosvenor Food & AgTech.
This restructuring substantially strengthens AeroFarms’ balance sheet, injecting the necessary funds to reach profitability at the flagship operation in Danville, Virginia, and has eliminated spending on all projects that do not contribute to the ramp-up of the Danville Farm, a move it said will accelerate “its path to profitability.”
“This marks a new chapter in the maturity and growth of AeroFarms,” Stephan Dolezalek, managing partner, Grosvenor Food & AgTech, said. “AeroFarms’ founders established the world’s most advanced vertical farming technology. We have now put in place changes needed to deliver on their vision. As an investor dedicated to creating a more sustainable global food supply chain, we see vertical farms as a critical part of the solution and are now focused on efficiently scaling our operations to deliver a market-leading product through a profitable business model.”
AeroFarms on Monday also announced it appointed food and ag vet Molly Montgomery as acting CEO.
Montgomery brings invaluable operational experience from successfully scaling profitable businesses within the fresh food sector. Most recently, she served as a CEO of CMM, a private equity-owned company in the fresh protein sector. Prior to CMM, she served as CEO of Landec Corp., a public company with Curation Foods, Landec’s largest business unit, a provider of fresh, packaged vegetables and salad kits.
“As we face the mounting challenges of climate change and food insecurity, we need to rethink our global food supply chain,” Montgomery said. “AeroFarms is a testament to the innovative thinking required to deliver highly nutritious food in a more sustainable and cost-efficient manner. The Danville Farm is an impressive operation, leveraging proprietary technology to deliver a fresh product that is less vulnerable to climate-related threats. I am looking forward to working with Guy Blanchard, the newly named AeroFarms president, and the rest of the AeroFarms team to complete the ramp-up of the Danville facility and to deliver a profitable operation that will enable future growth.”
According to Nielsen syndicated data, AeroFarms is the fastest-growing packaged salad greens brand by revenue at retail in the U.S. AeroFarms microgreens are safely grown indoors in its Danville Farm, a state-of-the art facility certified for USDA Good Agricultural Practices, SQF Level 2 Good Manufacturing Practices, Non-GMO Project Verification, OU Kosher and the industry-leading CEA Food Safety Seal that was developed to differentiate indoor clean growing practices from traditional challenges in the field.