Calif. auction group to flip Mocksville plant

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MOCKSVILLE, N.C. — The closed chicken-processing plant in Mocksville has a new owner in a San Francisco company, but it appears the facility may change hands quickly or be auctioned again by early October.

Rabin Worldwide led a group of auction companies that was successful with a stalking-horse bid of $5.36 million at an auction of Omtron USA LLC properties held earlier this week.

Rabin was the lone bidder for properties in Mocksville, Pittsboro and Siler City that Omtron spent $24.9 million for during bankruptcy proceedings for Townsends in February 2011. Omtron also bought Townsends’ headquarters in Georgetown, Del.

Omtron closed the Mocksville plant at 251 Eaton Road in July 2011, putting 476 employees out of work. The 70,000-square-foot plant is on a six-acre site.

Though operating in Davie for only seven months, the Omtron shutdown likely became the largest single-event business closing in county history. The Omtron shutdown in Siler City eliminated at least 680 jobs.

The group’s acquisition of the Omtron properties is expected to close by early September.

Michael Bank, a senior vice president with Rabin, said Friday the plan is to find a buyer for the Mocksville facility and remaining equipment.

Rabin doesn’t plan to hold onto the Mocksville properties long. It has scheduled an auction for the first week of October to divest itself of any remaining the Omtron assets. He said Rabin specializes in finding buyers, whether domestic or global, for used manufacturing equipment.

“We’re not in the business to operate production businesses at all,” Bank said. “We gamble on the value of the real estate and equipment when we make bids and expect to make a profit, but not necessarily a home run.”

Read full story: The Winston-Salem Journal