Garlic facility sale terminated

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Olam International's onion and garlic facility on Pacheco Pass Highway. Photo: Erik Chalhoub

An investment firm’s $110 million deal to buy a Gilroy onion and garlic processing facility fell through due to financial difficulties caused by Covid-19.

Olam International, one of Gilroy’s largest private employers, announced in November that it had sold its onion and garlic processing facility on Pacheco Pass Highway to Chicago-based Mesirow Financial.

With businesses closing and the economy grinding to a halt due to Covid-19 and the related shelter-in-place orders, the deal was terminated, Olam announced in a May press release.

“The company was notified by Mesirow that, because of significant financial market disruption/challenge arising from Covid-19, it has been unable to secure the required debt and equity financing to meet its obligations,” Olam officials stated.

Olam International’s Gilroy facility spans nearly 922,000 square feet, with about 500 employees, making it one of the top employers in the city.

In December, Olam officials reported that the business recently signed a 25-year lease for the Gilroy property, and said the company plans to be in the city for the long term.

Olam still intends to sell the facility, noting in the press release that it is in the “process of identifying new investors,” and was expected to reassess the value of the facility by the end of June.

Singapore-based Olam International operates more than 170 processing and manufacturing facilities across the world. It specializes in products such as nuts, spices, rice and other foods.

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