FREE MEMBERSHIP Includes » ABL Advisor eNews + iData Blasts | JOIN NOW ABLAdvisor Gray ABLAdvisor Blue
Skip Navigation LinksHome / News / Read News


SSG Advises Color Star Growers of Colorado in Asset Sale

February 24, 2014, 07:34 AM
Filed Under: Bankruptcy

SSG Capital Advisors, LLC ("SSG") acted as the investment banker to Color Star Growers of Colorado, Inc. ("Color Star" or the "Company") in the sale of substantially all of its assets to Altman Plants, Raindrop Partners and Black Diamond Capital Management, L.L.C., which owns Color Spot Nurseries.  The sale was effectuated through a Chapter 11 Section 363 process and closed in January 2014.

Color Star is a leading grower and wholesaler of flowers and nursery stock with greenhouses and distribution centers in nine locations spanning Colorado, Missouri and Texas.  Founded in 1991, Color Star is the fourth largest bedding plant distributor in the U.S. based on square footage, with strong market positions in over 20 states.  The flower and nursery stock wholesaling industry had been negatively impacted by stagnant consumer spending, slow housing starts, retailer consolidation and a lack of growth.  These factors, coupled with adverse weather conditions during the Company's peak growing season in 2013 had a material negative impact on its financial performance.  As a result, the Company faced liquidity constraints and filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Texas in December 2013.

SSG was retained in September 2013 as Color Star's investment banker to explore strategic alternatives, including a sale of substantially all of the Company's assets.  SSG conducted a comprehensive marketing process which resulted in a wide range of potential buyers, including multiple strategic and financial parties, interested in operating Color Star as a going concern business.  The process resulted in eight qualified bids for the assets in entirety and in parts.  The robust 363 auction lasted two days and culminated in the Bankruptcy Court soliciting last and final bids during the Sale Hearing.  In order to maximize value, SSG and the Debtor's professionals selected three buyers to form a combined bid for all of Color Star's assets.  Altman Plants purchased the Company's Giddings, TX, Harrisonville, MO and Peyton, CO assets; plus equipment and inventory at the Austin, TX, Carthage, MO and Jasper, MO facilities.  Raindrop Partners purchased all of the Company's Old Fort Lupton, CO and New Fort Lupton, CO assets, and Black Diamond Capital Management, L.L.C. purchased all of the Company's Sanger, TX assets.  SSG's knowledge of the industry, extensive dialogue and negotiations with parties interested in different parts of the Company's assets and experience in running efficient and timely Chapter 11 sales processes enabled the Company to maximize the value of the assets.

Altman Plants is the nation's fifth largest grower for the horticulture industry with 1,100 employees and 6 million square feet of greenhouse operations over 1,200 acres in three states.  Raindrop Partners acquires, invests in, and advises small businesses in Colorado. Black Diamond Capital Management, L.L.C. is a leading alternative asset management firm with over $11 billion in assets under management.

Other professionals who worked on the transaction include: 

  • Marcus Helt, Robert Sarfatis, Evan R. Baker and Adam C. Hull of Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP, counsel to Color Star Growers of Colorado, Inc.;
  • Brad Walker, chief restructuring officer, Daniel Scouler, Michael Riordan and Rachel Simcox of Scouler & Company, financial advisor to Color Star Growers of Colorado, Inc.;
  • Gordon B. Russell, George H. Barber, John J. Kane, Charles E. Aster of Kane, Russell, Coleman & Logan, P.C., counsel to a Secured Lender;
  • Robert J. Diehl, Jr. and Brian R. Trumbauer of Bodman, Longley & Dahling, LLP, counsel to a Secured Lender;
  • Daniel J. McGuire of Winston & Strawn LLP, counsel to Black Diamond Capital Management, L.L.C.;
  • James T. Markus and Donald D. Allen of Markus Williams Young & Zimmermann LLC, counsel to Raindrop Partners;
  • Raymond J. Urbanik and Deborah M. Perry of Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr, counsel to the Unsecured Creditors Committee; and
  • Wayne P. Weitz of Gavin / Solmonese LLC, financial advisor to the Unsecured Creditors Committee. 

SSG professionals who worked on this deal include:

  • Matthew P. Karlson, Managing Director
  • Terry Kohler, Director
  • Teresa C. Kohl, Director
  • Nicholas Coder, Associate
  • Andrew E. Finley, Analyst

SSG Capital Advisors is an independent boutique investment bank that assists middle-market companies and their stakeholders in completing special situation transactions.  We provide our clients with comprehensive advisory services in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, private placements, financial advisory, financial restructurings and valuations.  SSG has a proven track record of closing over 200 transactions in North America and Europe and is one of the leaders in the industry.        

Comments From Our Members

You must be an ABL Advisor member to post comments. Login or Join Now.