Myrtle Beach-based B&C agrees to stock buyback to clear former board member’s debts

dwren@thesunnews.comMay 2, 2013 

— Real estate developer Burroughs & Chapin Co. Inc. has agreed to buy up to $1.2 million worth of the company’s stock from former board member Larry Biddle to help Biddle and his wife, Virginia, pay off debts in their Chapter 11 bankruptcy case, court documents show.

The agreement will avoid any public sale of B&C stock, keeping the shares within the family-owned private company.

B&C last month paid $945,000 to Conway National Bank to buy nearly 6,000 shares of company stock the Biddles put up as collateral for a loan. The bank initially planned to auction the stock but agreed to sell it directly to B&C for $157.85 per share as long as the purchase covered the entire amount of the loan.

Another lender, TD Bank, wants B&C to buy about 270 shares of company stock the Biddles used as collateral for a $43,000 loan. Those negotiations are continuing, according to court documents.

In addition to the 6,000 shares it already has purchased, B&C has agreed to buy up to 1,600 more shares from the Biddles to pay off the couple’s unsecured creditors.

Biddle declined to comment Thursday. Biddle previously told The Sun News that he hoped a deal could be worked out with creditors that would have allowed his family to keep the B&C stock.

It’s not clear what B&C plans to do with the stock it purchases from the Biddles. Company spokeswoman Lei Gainer said B&C “does not comment on specific information concerning its stock.”

A public auction would have represented the first time a large chunk of B&C stock had been made available to the general public in the history of the company, which has been a driving force for development on the Grand Strand. Most of the company’s stock is owned by family members of the company’s founders, and the company previously has taken steps to restrict its sale to so-called outsiders. Virginia Biddle is part of the Burroughs family and Larry Biddle formerly served on the company’s board of directors.

B&C made several attempts to block Conway National Bank’s plan to auction the stock before ultimately striking a deal. The Biddles said in court documents that they own 19,104 shares of B&C stock, but it is not clear if that figure takes into account the shares Conway National Bank sold back to B&C last month.

Most of the company’s stock is owned by family members of the company’s founders, and the company previously has taken steps to restrict its sale to so-called outsiders. Virginia Biddle is part of the Burroughs family and Larry Biddle formerly served on the company’s board of directors.

The Biddles have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, which is a type of bankruptcy that allows debtors time to work with creditors on reorganizing personal or company debts.

Contact DAVID WREN at 626-0281.

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