ATLANTA -- The trustee of former President Jimmy Carter's peanut business in Plains says the operation is expected to be sold within the next two months.
Attorney Charles Kirbo, a close friend and trustee of Carter's business and farm operation for the past four years, said he hopes to close the sale in 30 to 60 days.
Kirbo declined to identify the prospective buyer but The Atlanta Journal quoted sources close to Carter as saying they believed the buyer would be Archer Daniels Midland, a company based in Decatur, Ill. The Carter peanut warehouse is valued at between $1.5 million and $2 million.
Archer Daniels Midland, the nation's largest soybean processor, recently began expanding its operation in Georgia, buying out Southern Cotton Oil Co., which owns peanut-shelling plantsin Cordele and McRae.
Kirbo said the warehouse sale will not be complete until the dissolution of the blind trust that he set up to handle Carter's business affairs while Carter was president.
During that process, Kirbo said Billy Carter's 15 percent interest will be bought by the trust, leaving the former president with 77 percent interest in the business. Kirbo said that process will be completed in about 30 days.
Kirbo said the trusteeship of Carter's property holdings already has been partially dissolved.
He said Chip Carter, the former president's son, has taken over management of Carter Farms -- 1,862 acres of farm and timber land which has been in the Carter family for six generations and which the former president wants to pass on to his children.