Bank Wants to Stop AGME Dismantling

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Bank Wants to Stop AGME Dismantling


Camden National Bank, which holds a $4.8 million mortgage on Associated Grocers of Maine (AGME), is seeking through the courts to halt the dismantling of the cooperative wholesale business, according to a published report.

The appointment of a receiver to close down Gardiner-based AGME happened too quickly and without proper notice being given to the bank, attorney George Marcus alleged in documents filed this week in Kennebec County Superior Court, the Kennebec, Maine, Journal reported. Camden National Bank is asking for the order to be vacated and an emergency hearing to be scheduled.

Last month, a Kennebec County judge appointed James C. Ebbert as a receiver to wrap up the business of AGME. The company is $6 million in debt to Savings Bank of Maine, which requested that court action, with AGME’s backing. The filing named Camden National Bank as a "party-in-interest," but gave no indication of whether that bank was notified.

Camden National Bank maintains its case should be heard right away, as "[e]ach day that passes increases the risk that CNB's collateral will be sold," and that it has "first priority lien" on AGME’s machinery and equipment.

Meanwhile, the dismantling of the business has already begun, prompting Pembroke, N.H.-based Associated Grocers of New England, an unrelated wholesale cooperative, to reveal that it has taken on some former AGME customers and employees.