Tropical Aquaculture files for chapter 7 bankruptcy
Rutland, Vermont, U.S.A., and Rockland, Maine, U.S.A.-based Tropical Aquaculture Products has filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the district of Delaware.
The filing means the company has officially ceased all operations, and its assets will be sold off in order to compensate its creditors. According to the bankruptcy filing, the company is claiming assets of USD 1.07 million (EUR 1.04 million), and liabilities of over USD 1.78 million (EUR 1.73 million).
Tropical Aquaculture was purchased in February 2020 by São Paulo, Brazil-based GeneSeas. Prior to its bankruptcy filing, the company listed itself as being involved in seafood sales, distribution, and marketing and was of the first companies in the U.S. to import fresh, premium tilapia.
According to the bankruptcy documents, Tropical Aquaculture earned gross revenues of just over USD 36 million (EUR 35.1 million) in 2020. Then, in 2021, that number fell to USD 21.8 million (EUR 21.2 million), and so far in 2022, it has only earned USD 8.3 million (EUR 8.1 million).
In its bankruptcy filings, Tropical Aquaculture indicated it has only USD 3,553 (EUR 3,468) in cash or cash equivalents on hand. It also states that it is owed over USD 1 million (EUR 976,000) by customers.
According to the filings, the company had a number of creditors with unsecured claims, and one with a secured claim. North Mill Capital LLC. has a secured claim against Tropical Aquaculture of USD 733,896 (EUR 716,509), and the value of the collateral supporting its secured claim is USD 1.16 million (EUR 1.13 million).
The creditors with the three largest unsecured claims are GeneSeas Aquacultura – the company that purchased Tropical – which is owed USD 506,724 (EUR 494,736); Aquaserena, which is owed USD 247,593 (EUR 241,735); and Industrial Pesquera Santa Priscila, owed USD 224,012 (EUR 218,712). The total of all the unsecured claims is USD 1.05 million (EUR 1.03 million).
Tropical Aquaculture's founder and former president, John Schramm, told SeafoodSource he could not comment on the bankruptcy proceedings.
According to the bankruptcy filing, the decision to file for chapter 7 bankruptcy was made by the company’s board, and Tropical Aquaculture Board Member Axel Verstraeten will, “on behalf of Tropical Aquaculture,” retain the law firm Gellert Scali Busenkell and Brown as bankruptcy council.