Banah International Group Emerges From Bankruptcy

U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida Approved Banah's Plan of Reorganization, Ending Bankruptcy Process

May 05, 2014, 08:00 ET from Banah International Group

HIALEAH, Fla., May 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Banah International Group (Banah), announced today it has formally emerged from the Chapter 11 process, paving the way to becoming a worldwide leading sugar product manufacturer.  The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida approved and made effective Banah's plan of reorganization (Plan) on May 1, 2014. Banah exits the restructuring process as Harvest Given, LLC with 0 debts, a stable, restructured balance sheet and support of a well-capitalized shareholder base. 

On May 1, Banah received 100% of the votes from the 90 ballots submitted by its creditors whom overwhelmingly voted in favor of Banah's Plan, providing a great preamble to the Bankruptcy Court's reorganization approval. 

"Today indeed marks a fresh start for Banah. This moment couldn't be more fitting, as Banah signifies 'New Beginnings' in Hebrew. We have emerged from this process as a strong company with both financial and operational strength and stability. We are excited about the future and new opportunities to carry on our New Beginnings mission and continue bringing the finest natural, and organic sugar products", said Yurek Vazquez, Chief Executive Officer of Banah. "It's been a great journey and satisfaction to look back and see the efforts of so many individuals working together for the common benefit of all parties involved, including saving the jobs our company provides to so many families. I also feel a great appreciation for the court and the US Trustees Office; our counsels at BastAmron and Alvarez & Barbara; our tenacious executive team and employees for whom no challenge is too big; to our suppliers, key creditors, and customers for their strong support throughout this process," added Vazquez.                                                         

Headquartered in South Florida, Banah's product portfolio of the finest quality, 100% pure cane sugar includes its assortment of organic and natural-flavored liquid sugar line, granulated, turbinado raw brown, confectioners, and the all-natural 0 calorie stevia. Banah is currently distributed throughout more than 6,000 retailers and bulk sugar providers in the U.S., with an additional 4,000 retailers under negotiation.  The company recently became the first USDA organic certified facility for both packaging and manufacturing of granular and liquid sugar, and is among the largest in USA.

About Banah's Mission
Banah, which means New Beginnings in Hebrew, is a mission with a company, on the basis that "Absolutely Every Life Counts" and "Everyone Deserves a Second Chance". Banah offers and promotes second chances for individuals who have made wrong choices, and decided to change their lives and reintegrate themselves into society. Banah exemplifies its mission of transforming the lives of those in search of a new beginning by embracing their past and providing the necessary tools to champion their future through their job opportunity, education, and career development program.

Corporate Governance, Financing and Ownership
Under its approved Chapter 11 plan, Banah will be acquired for $9.49 million by Harvest Given, LLC.  The company's leadership team is led by Yurek Vazquez, as Chief Executive Officer who launched the company's restructure, providing strength and stability in business operations.

In November 2012, Vazquez joined Banah to launch a company‐wide restructuring, which included an entirely new administration and workforce to lead the company into the future with better management, marketing, operations, production, and outstanding sales. Three months later, in February 2013, the company filed for Chapter 11 to seek the protection of the Bankruptcy Court as part of its plan of reorganization. Since then, Banah managed to grow its market share by over 2100%, reduced its operating costs by 48% and turned its 300,000 sq. ft. headquarters and warehousing facility into a well‐equipped manufacturing and packaging plant with a production capacity of over 42 million units per year. The company now has 35 employees and has established in-house educational and career development programs to carry on its New Beginnings mission. Banah has successfully re-established the relationship with nearly all its former suppliers and business partners.

The company's general restructuring team consists of CEO Yurek Vazquez; CFO Sean Marcil; Head of Legal Affairs Gilberto Santiesteban; Head of Operations Joaquin Cossio; Director of Sales and Marketing Lissette Rodriguez; Administrative Manager Andrea Macias; Chief Information Officer Michael Alonso; counsel Jeffrey P. Bast and BastAmron LLP; its financial advisors GlassRatner Advisory & Capital Group, LLC; its corporate lawyers Alvarez & Barbara, LLP, and Jay M. Levy, PA as special litigation counsel; Alex P. Martinez, C.P.A., and Alexander J. Alfano, Esq as Tax Counsels.

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