US horticulture companies Jackson & Perkins Co and George W. Park Seed Co, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April, have been bought by private equity firm Blackstreet Capital for $12.8 million.
Private equity firm Verdero Capital and multicultural horticultural mailer Gardens Alive! were the other two bidders, according to Barbara Barton, the attorney for Park Seed.
Although Blackstreet Capital did not offer the highest monetary bid, Barton says it guaranteed that at least 150 current employees would keep their jobs for at least three years, according to US sources.
Blackstreet agreed to continue operations in Greenwood for at least three years or face a penalty of $500,000 to the state and $500,000 to Greenwood County if it opted to relocate the businesses.
Barton said: "I'm very pleased. It guarantees the continuation of this business in a community with massive unemployment. The employees are very happy. The community is very happy. Everybody in the community really wanted this."
When Park Seed filed Chapter 11, it listed assets of $8.33 million and liabilities of $44.79 million.