The bankruptcy of Cedar Haven, the skilled care facility and former county home, now privately owned and operated, has entered its second year with no end in sight and a so far unsuccessful search for a buyer.
On Aug. 24, Cedar Haven Acquisition, LLC. (“CHA”), which purchased the facility’s non-real estate assets from Lebanon County in 2014 and still operates it, asked a Delaware bankruptcy court to extend the “exclusivity period” to Jan. 25, 2021. During the exclusivity period, CHA is free to look for a buyer or file a plan to restructure its debt and stay in business, without interference from its creditors.
The court will consider the request for more time at a hearing on Oct. 2.
CHA filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Aug. 2, 2019. Chapter 11 bankruptcies allow an owner to continue business as usual, under bankruptcy court supervision, while creating a reorganization plan to eliminate, repay, or reduce its debt. If that plan is approved by the court, the business can emerge from bankruptcy healthy and capable of operating profitably.
A business in Chapter 11 can also be sold with bankruptcy court approval.
While CHA has operated Cedar Haven and owned its equipment and non-real estate assets since buying them from the county, the building and grounds along S. 5th Avenue are owned by a separate company, 590 S. 5th Avenue LLC, which is not part of the bankruptcy. CHA has been leasing the real estate from 590 S. 5th Avenue.
CHA told the court within a month of filing for bankruptcy that it wanted to sell the non-real estate assets, and received permission to hire a broker to find a buyer. That effort led to a contract to sell the assets and operation to New Jersey-based Allaire Health, but Allaire backed out in July, sending the search for a buyer back to the start.
The Pennsylvania Department of Aging’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman Office, sometimes referred to as the “patient care watchdog,” has filed three patient care reports with the bankruptcy court, the latest covering conditions through Feb. 11, 2020. All found no major problems or deficiencies.
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