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Sun Feb 3, 2013, 07:22 PM

Farmers sue Ukrainian billionaire who closed Mocksville chicken plant

Posted: Sunday, February 3, 2013 6:15 pm | Updated: 6:30 pm, Sun Feb 3, 2013.
McClatchy-Tribune

... Oleg Bakhmatyuk, the majority owner of Ukraine’s largest egg producer, had elaborate plans to turn the facilities into the American outpost of a food empire that would strategically move protein around the world like pieces on a chess board ...

As it turned out, Bakhmatyuk’s plan was more fantasy than revolutionary. After failing within six months, the Townsends operations, including the Mocksville plant, have sat idle for more than a year while Bakhmatyuk (bak-mah-TEWK) and his executives mull their next move. Omtron USA, the company Bakhmatyuk used to buy the Townsends assets, has been forced to file for banktuptcy ...

Omtron’s largest creditor, according to its bankruptcy filing, is the town of Mocksville, which says it is owed $760,000 for lease payments on the remaining equipment in the facility there, which had 475 employees and closed in the fall of 2011. Omtron is disputing the claim. The town of Mocksville purchased the equipment, an oven line, in 2009 with a $700,000 grant from the nonprofit Golden Leaf Foundation that was to create 103 jobs ...

Bowman is one of about 130 chicken farmers who sued Omtron for breach of contract in state and federal court. The litigation has turned into its own chess match, with the farmers using the courts to seek damages for their terminated contracts and to try to force Omtron to sell ...

http://www.journalnow.com/news/local/article_a9e70b8c-6e57-11e2-b6ee-0019bb30f31a.html

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