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Published January 08, 2013, 09:41 AM

No sale for Cando, N.D., pasta plant

Buyer pulls offer for closed Noodles by Leonardo plant.

By: Kevin Bonham , Forum News Service

The shuttered Noodles by Leonardo pasta factory in Cando, N.D., doesn’t look to be reopening anytime soon.

A potential deal to sell the plant, which closed in October, apparently has fallen through.

“We pulled our offer,” said Bruce Satrom, Colgate, N.D., an official with Bektrom Foods, a Michigan-based manufacturer of private-label products with plants in Fargo and Michigan in North Dakota.

Bektrom had been negotiating with the family of Leonard Gasparre, who died in 2011. Gasparre built the Cando plant in the mid-1980s and added a plant in Devils Lake, N.D., in the 1990s.

The Devils Lake plant closed last March, shifting operations to Cando. The Devils Lake plant had 15 employees, while the Cando facility had 33 at the time. In the early 1990s, the two plants had a combined 325 employees.

“I had everything set,” Satrom said, adding that Noodles representatives declined to extend a December deadline that would have allowed Bektrom to complete its financing.

Meanwhile, officials in Cando continue to work with the Gasparre family’s representatives to reopen the plant, according to JoAnn Rodenbiker, president of the Towner County Economic Development Corp.

“With the holidays, things have quieted down,” she said. “But we’re working on it. We don’t know if it will be this project, or if it would be something else.”

Noodles’ Devils Lake plant was purchased last spring by Ultra Green Packaging, which produces environmentally friendly, sustainable packaging products from wheat straw and other materials.

Ultra Green, which is in the beginning stages of production, expects to employ about 150, with an annual payroll of more than $3.5 million, by the end of 2013 and 237 by the end of 2014, according to recent report a company representative made to the Devils Lake City Commission.