Originally created 12/05/01

Nut supplier plans recovery



Pecan supplier Tracy-Luckey Co., one of Harlem's largest employers, said it expects to re-emerge from bankruptcy protection early next year.

The 65-year-old company is negotiating new financing options enabling it to continue operating. The family-owned company filed a Chapter 11 petition with U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Augusta last month after months of mounting losses from the 2000 pecan crop.

Chapter 11 shields a company from creditors as it reorganizes under a court-supervised plan, unlike Chapter 7 bankruptcy, in which a company is usually sold off to pay creditors.

One of the financing deals being discussed is an infusion from Dallas-based Guaranty Business Credit Corp. Tracy-Luckey already has a revolving line of credit with the company.

"There is a good probability we will come out of this within the next few months," said company President Francis W. Tracy, 87, who helped start the company in 1937. "We expect to pay back everybody we owe money to. We don't expect to ask anybody to take a discount."

The company's troubles began last year when it, and most other pecan shellers, overpaid growers based on early estimates of a poor crop.

The crop turned out to be overabundant and the company sold its processed nuts for as much as $1 a pound less than it paid growers for raw nuts.

Reach Damon Cline at (706) 823-3486 or dcline@augustachronicle.com.