HONOLULU — An unexpected bid for a bankrupt Big Island brewery has postponed a court auction and set up a possible bidding war for the microbrewery.
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Tuesday that Aloha Beer Co. offered to buy Hawaii Nui Brewing LLC for $325,000, but did so outside the court-approved bidding process.
Aloha missed a deadline last week set by U.S. Bankruptcy Court, but Hawaii Nui attorney Chuck Choi said the company thinks Aloha has the best offer.
“I like the new bid,” Choi said.
A former Hawaii Nui partner, Dustin Shindo, formally submitted an offer of $250,000 through a firm backed by another investor. Shindo’s lawyer, Johnathan Bolton, said Shindo may try to outbid Aloha Beer.
The $250,000 was not a cash offer, but would credit most of a debt of nearly $356,000 that came from Shindo selling his half-interest in Hawaii Nui.
Bankruptcy Judge Robert Faris rescheduled the auction hearing for Friday.
Hawaii Nui says in its Chapter 11 filing it owes more than $1 million to more than 50 creditors. Its largest claims are nearly $120,000 to California Glass in San Francisco and nearly $80,000 to Hilo Soda Works in Hilo.
Hawaii Nui was established in 2007 to buy Keoki Brewing Co. on Kauai. It merged with Shindo’s Mehana Brewing Co. in 2009, producing brews under the Hawaii Nui brand.
The company’s current owners want to pump cash into the business in exchange for equity while it restructures its debts.
Hawaii Nui has about $1 million in annual sales.