PITTSBURGH Giant Eagle last week won an auction to buy the bottling facility of bankrupt LeNature with a $20 million bid, beating a $19 million bid from Cadbury Schweppes, according to court documents.
Le-Nature’s plant closed in November. According to published reports, Giant Eagle plans to begin operating the facility in about eight weeks and hire some 50 people initially.
The plant will be used to produce Giant Eagle’s branded bottled water, teas and other beverages. A court-appointed trustee of Le-Nature’s earlier agreed to sell the plant to Giant Eagle $20 million before the company lowered its bid to $18.9 million after reviewing the property. Giant Eagle again raised its bid to $20 million after Cadbury Schweppes joined the bidding.