"Despite opportunities in Sweden, the United Arab Emirates and several other markets we were unable to last until the commercial breakthrough came. The primary goal is now to protect the Plantagon innovations and, in close cooperation with the bankruptcy administrator, find new owners who want to continue working with the technology." Speaking is Plantagon's executive vice president Owe Petterson. Last week it became clear the Swedish vertical farming company is bankrupt.
In a press statement Owe says they are currently in contact with various investors in Sweden, the US and the UAE. "Also and on a positive side, the entrepreneurs we worked with remain interested in the Plantagon technology. Therefore we hope the projects in Linköping and UAE will be realised." Plantagon has published plans to build a $40 million plantscraper in Linköping, Sweden and has partnered with the university of Dubai to create an urban, agricultural research center in Dubai and a framework for urban agriculture development across the UAE.
Co-founder Hans Hassle expresses a similar feeling. "It is a sad day for me and for everyone who works with and believes in Plantagon, but on the other hand, the board and current principal owners are hopeful of being able to save the Plantagon innovations, so that our vision of large-scale urban cultivation can be realized in the near future. We will focus our attention forward and hope for a future for our innovation."
The company declares they've taken the initiative to put Plantagon International in bankruptcy by themselves. "The measure was taken to protect the immediate interest of employees", they explain.
Together with the owners, the board of directors has stated that the company reached a point that the business couldn't carry on. "We hope this measure will save the innovation Plantagon has developed. Currently calls with interested international investors are ongoing", they say. The management has been given a four-week deadline to secure new financing and new owners.
Suppliers and the bank have claims of over € 280,000 (SEK 3 million), whereas loans to management and stakeholders add up to another € 944,000 (SEK 10 million). According to Swedish publications, the largest owner of Plantagon International was Onondaga Nation, an American native of New York State, with about 80 percent of the shares. Subsequently, co-founder Hans Hassle (through the company Swecorp Citizenship Stockholm) and a non-profit association with 10 per cent each follow the shares.
Plantagon Production Sweden
The bankruptcy also includes the ownership that the company has had in Plantagon Production Sweden AB, which operates the indoor plantation Plantagon City Farm at Kungsholmen in Stockholm.
Money for Plantagon Production Sweden was collected last year through crowdfunding: over 420,000 euro was invested by 477 investors. Plantagon Production Sweden AB continues its operations for the time being as usual.