LEHI — Longtime Utah business Lehi Roller Mills, currently in bankruptcy, has an offer for purchase in hand and is entertaining more bids, a bankruptcy official said.
The 106-year-old company, known for its baking flour and mixes as well as its prominence in the 1984 film "Footloose," filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December.
"They had some other issues related to some lawsuits in the past that led to a lot of legal fees being incurred that really drained the company," Mark Hashimoto, who was appointed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court as the company's chief restructuring officer in March, said.
Now, the land, mill and retail store at 700 S. Main in Lehi is being sold in addition to the company's equipment, trademarks and trade names.
Hashimoto said he has already received an offer of around $4.4 million for "nearly all" of the company's assets. If the bid is accepted, KEB Enterprises — an investment company also located in Lehi — plans to continue the company's current operations.
Hashimoto said he has asked the court to approve an auction and sale process for Lehi Roller Mills, which allows him to consider additional offers. If better, higher offers are received by Aug. 13, an auction will be held between competing bidders on Aug. 15.
"Over the past couple of years, there's actually been quite a number of parties that have shown interest in Lehi Roller Mills, so now that we have an offer in hand, we're going back to those other parties to see if there's still interest," Hashimoto said.
According to the company's website, the company has been producing "high-quality baking flour" since 1906, with the majority of its flour being used by corporate and bakery clients. But the mill also sells baking mixes at national retailers as well its own retail store in Lehi.
The company has been owned and operated by the same family since 1910 and Hashimoto said the family will own the company until it's sold.
The company currently has 19 employees. Hashimoto said that since KEB Enterprises plans to continue the mill's operations, he would assume they would be rehired after the sale in final.
Whoever ends up owning "the iconic building and business" after Aug. 15 will make the ultimate decision about its future.
"It's kind of a tourist attraction, the mill itself, and it's been operating and selling products around the country, and for this to disappear would kind of be a shame," Hashimoto said.
Utah County resident Connie Procter, a longtime Lehi Roller Mills patron, emerged from the store Thursday carrying a 25-pound bag of flour. An avid baker, she had her opinions on the possibility of the company potentially shutting down.
"I hate it," she said. "I've been buying this flour forever, so it's going to be different if I can't come and purchase it."
Contributing: Keith McCord