Auction yields no other bids for bankrupt winery and cidermaking operation
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.