An auction for the idled Northern Beef Packers plant in Aberdeen, S.D., is scheduled for December 5, and attorneys for the company have asked that the minimum bid be set at $12.75 million, reports the Associated Press.

Lawyers for Northern Beef Packers filed a motion in federal bankruptcy court to establish bidding procedures for the plant, the Aberdeen American News reported ( ). Under the proposal, bids would be solicited for all the beef plant's property, including fixtures, improvements, machinery, equipment and supplies.

"Given the unique nature of the operating assets, it is impossible to estimate the value of the operating assets with certainty," according to the court motion. But the motion said the proposed minimum purchase price was determined to be an appropriate level to promote broad participation in a competitive auction for the plant's assets.

The plant opened in 2012 after several delays, and Northern Beef Packers spent about $115 million on the plant and equipment. The company declared bankruptcy this summer after it was unable to purchase enough cattle to reach capacity.

Mary Worlie, Brown County director of equalization, said the value of the plant and land is assessed for tax purposes at about $54 million. She said the assessed value for tax purposes is typically less than the market value, but the beef plant is not typical property.

"This is a very unique situation," Worlie said. "We don't know what it will bring at auction. It will sell for what it sells for."

Source: AP