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Copia bankrupt but will re-open this month

Copia, Napa’s beleaguered wine, food and arts centre, has filed for bankruptcy protection as it struggles to restructure and stay in business.

It closed temporarily on 21 November, and looks set to reopen on 12 December. It will need to sell most of its assets over the next few months if it is to stay afloat.

The US$55m centre has run up debts of US$78m, and laid off 24 of its 80 perrmanent staff in September.

CEO Garry McGuire had told decanter.com that the centre should reopen on 1 December, but it remained closed last night (2 December).

Copia’s online calendar has been cleared for the next week, with the first planned event now scheduled for 12 December.

In conjunction with its bankruptcy filing, made under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code, Copia is seeking permission to continue to pay its employees and to maintain their benefits.

The centre has also secured a commitment to provide US$2m in credit to supplement its working capital. This, it is planned, will give it time to complete the restructuring of the business over the next six months.

That will involve selling all Copia’s real estate assets, leasing back facilities to enable it to continue to host events and educational programmes.

‘We recently have taken intensive measures to overcome our deteriorating liquidity position,’ said McGuire in a press statement.

‘The decision to restructure the business through a Chapter 11 filing should provide us with the opportunity to strengthen our balance sheet, create a more efficient expense structure and ultimately position our public-benefit corporation to compete more effectively.’

McGuire was unavailable for further comment.

Written by Richard Woodard

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