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Copia creditor seeking to block bankruptcy

SANTA ROSA -- The main creditor for a Napa food and wine museum filing for bankruptcy is asking a judge to block the plan.

Copia, a nonprofit also known as The American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Dec. 1, saying it needs to restructure to be profitable. Copia was co-founded by the late vintner Robert Mondavi and chef Julia Child.

Now, the museum's chief creditor, ACA Financial Guaranty Corporation, is arguing that Copia's bankruptcy is merely an attempt to relieve its debt at creditors' expense so it can become a for-profit enterprise. ACA insures Copia's $78 million bond debt.

Copia hopes to sell its real estate and lease the facilities back for its programs. Copia's Interim CEO Garry McGuire says ACA is trying to avoid paying out $40 million or more it may be liable for.

The museum blames the credit crisis for its decision to close last month.


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