Kelley Drye Represents Contessa Premium Foods in Restructuring
February 1, 2011

Frozen meal and seafood producer, Contessa Premium Foods Inc., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California. The company will maintain operations while it restructures its debt. Kelley Drye & Warren LLP is representing Contessa in its bankruptcy and restructuring.

In 2008, the company greatly expanded its capacity by opening a state-of-the-art 112,000 sq. ft. environmentally friendly frozen food processing center in Commerce, California. Contessa’s sales reached approximately $221 million in 2007, but the global economic downturn that followed drove sales down to $154 million by 2010. With reduced sales, the company filed for bankruptcy protection to restructure its debt resulting from the new plant. Contessa reached an agreement with lender, Wells Fargo Bank, to fund operations through the restructuring.

"The agreement with Wells Fargo provides adequate liquidity for normal operations to continue without any disruptions to our customers, vendors and employees. Our restructuring process will strengthen our financial health and long-term growth and have Contessa resume the leadership and innovation we have been recognized for globally," said Contessa CEO, John Z. Blazevich.

Founded in 1984, the San Pedro, California-based company imports, processes, exports and distributes frozen seafood and convenience meals in North America, Europe and Asia. It offers products through retail, club, food service, private labels, restaurants, hotel chains, supermarkets, warehouse club stores and U.S. military bases.