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MailTribune.com
  • Subsidiaries of Evergreen International Aviation sell off $11 million in Willamette farmland

    Oregon air cargo company is target of lawsuits, announced closure this month
  • MCMINNVILLE — Yamhill County records show the founder of Evergreen International Aviation and the company's agricultural subsidiary have been selling hundreds of acres of farmland.
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  • MCMINNVILLE — Yamhill County records show the founder of Evergreen International Aviation and the company's agricultural subsidiary have been selling hundreds of acres of farmland.
    Executives of the air cargo company said earlier this month it would close at the end of November, laying off 131 remaining employees. In May, Evergreen sold its helicopter division for $250 million.
    The farmland sell-off comes amid lawsuits seeking money from Evergreen founder Del Smith and various arms of his company, the Yamhill Valley News-Register reported. Most have gone uncontested, resulting in default judgments and sometimes liens against Smith or the company.
    Company officials haven't responded to requests for comment.
    Records show four sales since June by either Smith or Evergreen Agricultural Enterprises, for a total of more than $11 million. Acreage figures were not available for all the purchases. Two were for 500 and 540 acres.
    Evergreen Agricultural Enterprises has 8,000 acres of agricultural holdings in the mid-Willamette Valley, mostly in Yamhill County, its website says. It's unclear whether that's a pre- or post-sale figure.
    County land records show Evergreen with an $84.1 million line of credit secured by those holdings.
    The agricultural subsidiary lists three subsidiaries of its own, Evergreen Orchards, Evergreen Vineyards and Evergreen Nursery. The state's business registry lists the latter two as "inactive."
    The vineyards operation has closed its two tasting rooms, laying off its remaining employees at the end of October.
    The News-Register said that among the lawsuits is one from an Indiana bank demanding repayment of $10 million in loans and interest and threatening to seize 23 aircraft used as collateral. The judge has asked for status reports by Jan. 6.
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