Local banks are telling a Lancaster County court that they need more time and information to assess a deal that would settle debts from the estate of the late developer Richard Welkowitz.
- The estate has proposed selling off its stake in ventures that own more than 5,000 ATMs for $13.8 million to a Lancaster-based private equity firm, Heller Capital Group.
- Creditors must sign off on the deal, however, and they have some reservations, according to filings they made this month in Lancaster County orphans’ court, where the case is playing out.
Which creditors: The Welkowitz estate owes about $211.3 million to more than a dozen banks and other creditors. Four banks have stepped forward to contest the ATM deal.
- They are Harrisburg-based Centric Financial, York-based PeoplesBank, York-based Traditions Bank and Montgomery County-based Univest Bank & Trust.
- The estate’s debt to Univest is secured by the ATMs, while the debt to PeoplesBank is unsecured, according to court filings.
- Centric and Traditions have both unsecured debt and debt secured by the ATMs.
- Spokespeople for the four banks declined to comment.
- An attorney for the estate, Alex Snyder of law firm Barley Snyder, declined to comment but confirmed that the matter remains open before the court.
What’s the holdup: In general, the four banks say they need more time and information before they can sign off on the estate’s sale of its ATM stake to Heller. Heller already owns a minority share in the ATM ventures.
- In legal filings, the banks describe the estate as cooperative and communicative.
- Nonetheless, they are asking for more information about the estate’s finances and its efforts to find other buyers for the ATM assets.
What’s next: A hearing on the matter is scheduled in Lancaster County court for Oct. 7.
The background: Welkowitz committed suicide in December 2019, leaving behind tens of millions of dollars in debt to local banks and others.
- Welkowitz was the low-profile head of Blackford Development, the firm behind North Cornwall Commons in Lebanon County and a host of other developments in Lancaster County and beyond, according to a rare 2015 profile in the Central Penn Business Journal.