MADISON, Wis. - The company now in ownership of the Oscar Mayer plant is selling off parts of the plant in a major auction.
From Wednesday to Friday Reich Brothers Holdings, which purchased the building from Kraft Heinz, is auctioning off the equipment left inside this Wednesday through Friday.
“It’s basically a giant yard sale,” said Jeff Kopp, the capital equipment specialist for Reich Brothers.
Thousands of the items that have been a part of the plant from 1919 to the present will be sold off.
“You've got ladders, you've got wrenches, you've got pallet jacks, forklifts,” Kopp said.
Kopp, the capital equipment specialist for Reich Brother's was tasked with organizing the eight stories worth of machinery.
“They’re literally scattered everywhere so our idea is to get everything in an assembled area so the customers can come in and during the inspection period take a look at the items,” Kopp said.
Kopp has been in the industry for 30 years and said this is one of the largest auctions he’s ever dealt with.
“On a food service side this is about as big as they come,” Kopp said.
Nearly 3,000 items will be sold priced up to $150,000.
“The steamers, the mixers, the grinders -- those are really the machines that are going to hold the highest value,” Kopp said.
Two-hundred bidders are expected to shop either onsite or online.
Everyone from the big meat companies all the way from small mom and pop butcher shops,” Kopp said.
Kopp said the Oscar Mayer name is what will put more eyes on this auction than a typical one.
“What people in the industry know is that Oscar Mayer is the No.1 and the reason that they are the No.1 is because they produced the best and the quality so therefore they spent the most money on upkeep of their equipment and the equipment that they bought is usually top notch, top of the line kind of stuff,” Kopp said.
However, there's also a sentimental value tied to the company that is expected to boost sales.
“You'll have people that are the pickers and come out to yard sales and farm sales and are looking for that piece that maybe has Oscar Mayer’s logo on it or something like that,” Kopp said.
Kopp expects to have sold more than $3 million worth of equipment by the end of the three-day auction.
“I would say 90 percent of it will sell,” Kopp said.
The next step will be for the Reich Brother Holding to find a company to take over the space that will hopefully make as long as an impact as its predecessor.
“This site will be revitalized and turned into something that will generate money and income for the city and the people of Madison,” Kopp said. Reich Brothers wants to fill the 72-acre site with another manufacturer. They are working closely with the city to find a good fit for Madison.
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