January 2013

Hormel Foods Obtains $8.8M Award, Payment in Full

United States - Iowa

Our firm was lead counsel for the claimant Hormel Foods in obtaining an $8.8 million award and additional relief. Though initially confidential, the dispute, including the reasoned award, was made public through subsequent public filings by the respondent AgFeed (2014 WL 6721941). Hormel and AgFeed were parties to a long-term ledger-style commodity supply agreement with cost-of-production and market-price components. Pursuant to its terms, the parties’ agreement could not be terminated until after the parties had arbitrated any dispute and the losing party had failed to comply with the resulting order as determined by a second arbitration. Following a dispute as to the cost accounting and cost-of-production components of the relationship, Hormel obtained an $8.8 million arbitration award, which was paid by AgFeed. A second arbitration ensued as to other aspects of the award and the parties’ relationship. The second arbitration resulted in a settlement that terminated the agreement, provided for a confidential payment to Hormel, and AgFeed executing a $2.84 million note in favor of Hormel. AgFeed later sought bankruptcy protection in Delaware and sought to set aside the note, among other relief. AgFeed’s arguments were rejected, and the note was later paid in full. Hormel Foods Corporation v. AgFeed USA LLC,. No. 58-467-Y-187-12 (AAA 2012).

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