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Buckhannon-based investment group seeks to purchase Alderson Broaddus University campus for $4.9 million

BUCKHANNON — An investment business based in Buckhannon is seeking approval from U.S. Bankruptcy Court to purchase the campus of Alderson Broaddus University in Phillipi.

According to court documents filed Wednesday, Thomas Fluharty, the Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee for the case, has entered into an agreement with DACK Investments LLC to sell the campus located at 101 College Hill Drive in Philippi, along with various fixtures and equipment, for $4.9 million. Of that, $4 million is allocated to real estate and $900,000 for personal property.

The sale is contingent on court approval, and ‘upset bids’ of at least $5 million can be submitted until five days prior to the sale hearing, which is set for 11 a.m. on January 31, 2024 in Clarksburg. If valid upset bids are received, an auction would then be held between DACK Investments and the other bidders to determine the final price.

The West Virginia Secretary of State’s website lists four members for DACK Investments: Dale Heller, Alice Ackerman, Charles Ackerman and Kathryn Heller. The limited liability company was formed on April 1, 2022.

WBOY first reported the latest bankruptcy filing on Thursday.

The Board of Trustees at Alderson Broaddus University voted to close the college in late July 2023 after years of financial struggles. The school declared bankruptcy a month later. According to court documents, the Alderson-Broaddus Endowment Corporation owes the U.S. Department of Agriculture more than $30 million.

“The USDA holds a first lien in the amount of $30,594,000 against the real estate and personal property conveyed to ABEC on December 10, 2018,” the motion to sell the property states. “Since his appointment, the Trustee has worked diligently with the USDA to identify potential purchasers of the campus. The lack of funds available to maintain utilities and security at the campus necessitates an expedited approach to the marketing and sale of the assets of the debtor estates.”

DACK Investments was the only party to make an offer on the campus. The court documents provided no information about how the property would be used once purchased.

“The Trustee and USDA have received multiple inquiries from entities who have expressed interest in purchasing the campus or part of the campus,” the motion states. “However, the Trustee has received only one offer.”

Another part of the purchase agreement involves the turf field at ABU, which DACK Investments required to be a part of the sale.

“PNC Bank National Association is the lessor of the astroturf field installed at the football stadium,” the document states. “PNC Bank asserts that the transaction is a true lease, with an outstanding secured balance of $397,361 … PNC Bank has agreed to accept the sum of $40,000 in full satisfaction of the outstanding balance of the lease and has agreed to issue a bill of sale at the closing of the sale transaction. Inclusion of the astroturf field in the sale was required by Purchaser.”

Overall, the court documents say the $4.9 million offer was the best available.

“The Trustee believes that the sale of the Property and the compromises set forth in this motion are in the best interest of the ABEC and ABU bankruptcy estates, and that the purchase price is fair and reasonable,” the motion states. “There is a limited market for a sale transaction of this type and size, and the Trustee with the assistance of the USDA has worked diligently to locate potential buyers. The cost of maintaining utility service and securing the assets for a prolonged period will reduce the available distribution to creditors of both estates.”

DACK Investments released a statement Thursday saying that more details will be available in the future.

“Things are moving forward, and more information will be provided at a later date,” the company said.

Read the full motion to sell by clicking here.

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