By SeafoodSource staff
Published on 25 February, 2013
Value-added seafood supplier Contessa Premium Foods has emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, with all its creditors paid in full.
On 21 December 2012, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California entered a final decree that marked the conclusion of a two-year bankruptcy process that resulted in the sale of Contessa's operating businesses.
Former president and CEO John Blazevich placed Contessa into bankruptcy in January 2011 after sales declined following the global economic downturn that began in 2008. The company was sold to Sun Capital Partners six months later for more than USD 50 million (EUR 38 million), and the business continues to operate as Contessa Premium Foods. Donald Binotto, former president and CEO of StarKist, is now at the helm. The company is now headquartered in Sewickley, Pa., with operations in Southern California.
Blazevich says he’s “proud” to have paid all of the company’s creditors, acting under the company title Contessa Liquidating Co.
“I created a company from nothing and within 27 years I generated nearly USD 4 billion (EUR 3 billion) in aggregate sales. I also built the world’s first ‘green’ LEED certified frozen food manufacturing plant, reducing daily energy use and CO2 emissions by 65 percent,” Blazevich said. “As president/CEO and founder, it was my risk, my reward and ultimately my decision to place Contessa into bankruptcy protection.”
Blazevich is now president and CEO of ViVA! Food Group, a supplier of farmed shrimp from Southeast Asia. The company is based in Manhattan Beach, Calif.
“After 30 years, I am still in the game, and I look forward to continuing my extensive relationships in the industry through my new company,” Blazevich added.