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$1.2M offer from Maryland business owner is enough to buy Hauser EstateAuction yields no other bids for bankrupt winery and cidermaking operation

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The entrance to Hauser Estate Winery along Cashtown Road in Franklin Township, Adams County. The facility also is home to Jack's Hard Cider.
The entrance to Hauser Estate Winery along Cashtown Road in Franklin Township, Adams County. The facility also is home to Jack's Hard Cider. - (Photo / )

The bankrupt parent company of Jack's Hard Cider and Hauser Estate Winery has a new owner.

Donald Hoffman submitted an offer of $1.2 million to buy Hauser Estate Inc. in Adams County. It was the only offer in a bankruptcy auction held Thursday.

"Mr. Hoffman took the day," said Ervin Terwilliger, managing partner of Three Twenty-One Capital Partners, the firm overseeing the auction.

Hoffman is president and CEO of Excel Services Corp., a nuclear engineering and consulting firm in Maryland.

Other investors looked at Hauser, but Hoffman was the only one to make a formal offer. He previously tried to buy the business, but a bankruptcy judge denied it because there was no valuation study or marketing at the time to justify the offer.

Factions of the Hauser family have been fighting over the company's financial management and value, which led to a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in July. The Franklin Township company has been limping along with limited staff and production since then.

Hoffman was not immediately available for comment. He is expected to formally close on the deal within the next 15 days, Terwilliger said.

Jack’s Hard Cider burst onto the cider scene in 2008, well before cider became a mainstream craft beverage. Apple-rich Adams County has since churned out several other cider makers.

Jack's sells through a series of distributors in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Ohio and Maryland. Hauser also has two retail locations, in Biglerville and downtown Gettysburg, where it sells its cider and wine products.

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Jason Scott

Jason Scott

Jason Scott covers state government, real estate and construction, media and marketing, and Dauphin and Cumberland counties. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at jscott@cpbj.com. Follow him on Twitter, @JScottJournal.

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