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 LOS ANGELES, March 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Lindsay Olive Growers, the agricultural cooperative which includes 325 member growers, will auction its olive processing equipment and other personal property on March 30-31, in Lindsay, Calif.
 The two-day auction will be handled by The Rabin Brothers, internationally known auctioneers and experts in agricultural business liquidation. Lindsay Olive Growers filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in February 1993.
 "Under the terms of the Bankruptcy Court-approved Auction Agreement with The Rabin Brothers, Lindsay Olive Growers is guaranteed a minimum of $1.5 million in revenue from this auction," said attorney Lucinda Dennis, a senior bankruptcy partner of Bronson, Bronson & McKinnon in Los Angeles.
 "When operations ceased, Lindsay Olive Growers was the largest employer in the city of Lindsay so the loss in terms of local revenues and jobs is devastating to the community," Dennis added. "Nevertheless, our job in this case is to take aggressive action in generating as much revenue as possible from the debtor's assets in order to maximize recovery for the creditors. This auction should go a long way to accomplish that goal."
 Dennis and Bronson, Bronson & McKinnon partners Sarah Sisson in Los Angeles and Craig Stuppi in the firm's San Francisco office represent Lindsay Olive Growers in its bankruptcy proceedings.
 Referring to the $1.5 million guarantee, Michael D. Hackman, managing partner of The Rabin Brothers' Los Angeles office, said, "We became very aggressive on the pricing of this auction, because the marketplace is strong and, as auctioneers, we felt the need to protect our market share within the industry.
 "As worldwide industry leaders, we're involved in a number of projects here in the United States and in other countries," Hackman added. "For example, we recently completed an auction for a food processing operator in Tel Aviv, Israel. Everywhere today, we're seeing strong interest in top quality used equipment."
 The Rabin Brothers advertised the Lindsay Olives equipment auction in industry publications worldwide, especially in the United States and Latin America, and to date have received requests for the auction catalog and videotape from numerous potential buyers both in the United States and abroad.
 "The assets to be sold under the Auction Agreement primarily consist of olive processing equipment," said Sisson. "This equipment is seasonal in nature and will continue to diminish in value unless it is sold as soon as possible. For this reason, we moved quickly for Bankruptcy Court authorization to hold the auction."
 According to Hackman, "The auction process is attractive to buyers as an opportunity to purchase top-of-the-line equipment at good prices, thereby strengthening their own businesses. Though the bankruptcy process is never pleasant for those individuals who are directly impacted by a company's failure, sophisticated law firms, such as Bronson, Bronson & McKinnon, provide the experience necessary for either a successful reorganization or positive recovery for the creditors. The auctioneer's role is to generate these important revenues to help the process. Hopefully, the overall recovery process is improved because of our efforts."
 Considered "high tech" in its style of operations, The Rabin Brothers utilizes a variety of marketing techniques worldwide. "In addition to our use of videotape to present all of the equipment to be sold, our crews have gone into the plant in Lindsay to catalog and prepare the equipment," Hackman said. "The auction date has been set for March 30 and 31 at the Lindsay Olive processing plant. We have created a comfortable setting for the buyers and will utilize the video presentation as part of the auction."
 Lindsay Olive Growers was founded in 1916 as an agricultural cooperative. Prior to September 1992, the company's three primary areas of business were:
 -- Processing and marketing canned ripe olives to wholesalers, grocery chains and food processors;
 -- Producing aseptic sauces under the labels of Aunt Penney's and Emilio's; and
 -- Packaging ripe olives under a variety of labels.
 The company flourished until fiscal year 1989. From then on until 1993 when it filed for protection under Chapter 11, Lindsay Olive Growers experienced severe challenges which when taken together destroyed the company.
 In fiscal year 1989, the olive industry in the San Joaquin Valley enjoyed the largest bumper crop in its history. With excess supply over demand, Lindsay Olives' carry-over fruit was not processed, thereby generating poor yields and higher costs the following year.
 The, Campbell Soup Co. acquired Durkee and Early California brands, resulting in increased industry competition. At the same time, favorable exchange rates in the international marketplace made it more cost effective to import olives, resulting in an additional decline in Lindsay Olives' market share.
 Throughout this period, the cooperative was required by the City of Lindsay to spend in excess of $1 million per year in clean-up costs resulting from the disposal of industrial waste on city property.
 In March 1992, the National Bank for Cooperatives (Co-Bank), the company's secured lender, declined to provide long-term financing for the September 1992 harvest. The cooperative then began negotiations for the sale of all or a substantial portion of its business, an effort which was ultimately unsuccessful.
 In September 1992, the bank assumed control over the cooperative's Co-Bank stock, canned inventory, certain trademarks and trade styles, supplies, some equipment and accounts receivable. The debtor's olive processing, canning and distribution operation ceased. In February 1993, Lindsay Olive Growers filed for bankruptcy protection.
 -0- 3/29/93
 /EDITOR'S NOTE: For information regarding the Lindsay Olive Growers' equipment and personal property auction, contact Michael Hackman, The Rabin Brothers at 310-278-1511. Attorneys Lucinda Dennis and Craig Stuppi will attend the auction and be available for interviews. For all other media information, call Connie Smith or Carol van Ahlers at 310-983-8790./
 /CONTACT: Connie Smith or Carol van Ahlers of AhlerSmith, 310-983-8790/

CO: Lindsay Olive Growers; The Rabin Brothers;
 Bronson, Bronson & McKinnon ST: California IN: AGR SU: BCY

MS-JB -- LA010 -- 0504 03/29/93 12:03 EST
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Date:Mar 29, 1993

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