GEORGETOWN, Del. – Poultry processor Townsends, Inc. has received bankruptcy court approval to sell the company whole or in parts. The process calls for bids to be submitted by Feb. 14 and an auction will follow on Feb. 15. A hearing to consider court approval of the sales is scheduled for Feb. 17.

On Dec. 19, 2010, Townsends and its four subsidiaries filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company operates facilities in Arkansas, North Carolina and Georgia. Its brands include Chef’s Select, Perfect Breast, Pristine Cuisine, Ruby Dragon and Speedy Bird.

“We are extremely gratified that our employees, customers and suppliers have shown tremendous support during this difficult time,” said Frederick B. Beilstein III, chief executive officer. “After carefully considering the company’s alternatives, the company's management and its board of directors determined that a sale of all or part of the company’s assets would provide the opportunity for the best outcome for all of our stakeholders.

“Multiple bidders have expressed interest in acquiring the company. The company’s management and financial and legal advisors are working closely with interested bidders as we approach the anticipated February 15th auction and will continue to work with a successful bidder(s) to limit any disruption in operations during the transition process.”

The company said it also had received bankruptcy court approval for a $12 million debtor-in-possession financing facility.