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Tuesday, January 27, 2009 

Niman Ranch needs MOO-lah

Can't one of those health conscience megamillionaire hollywood types loan some money out? Hey...wait a minute...aren't the banks supposed to be loaning out moolah these days since we bailed them out?

The venerable but financially beleaguered Niman Ranch, famous for selling high-quality natural meats since being founded in the early 1970s by Bill Niman (who left the firm in 2007), was forced this week to merge with Natural Foods Holdings, a division of the Chicago-based equity company that is Niman’s largest investor. According to the San Francisco Business Times, Niman CEO Jeff Swain said in a letter to shareholders that the Bay Area company was in default on loans, owed key vendors money, and was facing a decline in sales.

Swain told shareholders that Niman had been unable to secure additional credit and that without merging it did not have the funds to continue operations past the end of this month. - Gourmet

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