US tobacco cooperative files for bankruptcy

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RALEIGH, NC – US Tobacco Cooperative Inc., a producer-owned marketing cooperative, announced on July 7 that it had filed for bankruptcy.

The Raleigh, North Carolina-based company said it has sought Chapter 11 protection in federal court to meet its short-term contractual obligations to member growers during the 2021 harvest season.

“This deposit gives us the best possible way to meet our short-term obligations and plan for the future,” said Oscar House, CEO and President of US Tobacco Cooperative. “This action does not in any way reflect the health of the organization and its ability to continue its activities in the future. In fact, this action is in response to the uncertainty presented by the ongoing class action lawsuit brought against us in 2005. Rest assured that our obligations to our member-producers, employees, suppliers and customers have always been and will continue to be our. higher. priority and concern.

With the filing, US Tobacco Cooperative intends to meet its obligations to its more than 550 member producers and more than 200 employees. The deposit will allow the company to reorganize and restructure to honor its commitments to stakeholders and ensure the sustainable future of the organization, he said.

The US Tobacco Cooperative processes US hot air cured tobacco that is grown by its members in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. Tobacco is processed and sold as a raw material to cigarette manufacturers around the world. US Tobacco Cooperative subsidiaries include US FlueCured Tobacco Growers (USFC), Premier Manufacturing, Franchise Wholesale (doing business as Wildhorse Distributing), Big South Distribution and King Maker Marketing Inc.

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