No one took the bait.
There were no outside bidders Monday in the auction of more than 3,000 shares of local real estate firm the Wilton Companies.
The shares, most recently owned by the firm’s former head Hank Wilton, went back to the Wilton Companies, according to Randolph Trow, an attorney at local law firm Poole and Poole who handled the auction.
The process was similar to a real estate foreclosure auction, in which a property goes back to the lender when no successful outside bid is made.
The shares had been pledged as collateral by Hank Wilton on a loan to First Capital Bank. The Wilton Companies had since taken ownership of the note from the bank, Trow said.
That loan, along with tens of millions of dollars in debt, went into default amid Hank Wilton’s personal bankruptcy in late 2010.
The 3,049 shares up for grabs Monday represented a 4.8 percent stake in the firm. They were offered as a single block of shares, but Trow would not comment on the exact asking price at the auction.
He said the price per share was similar to what was paid in a court-ordered auction of some of Wilton’s shares late last year.
Wilton Companies chief executive Rich Johnson and the firm’s general counsel Rodney Poole paid almost $900,000 through an LLC for 1,400 shares. That’s about $642 per share.
Johnson said last week that two remaining blocks of Wilton Companies shares are still held by Wilton’s creditors and might eventually go through an auction or sales process.
The Wilton Companies develop, own and manage shopping centers, apartments, offices and other properties across Richmond.
Hank Wilton’s bankruptcy filing revealed that he had guaranteed tens of millions of dollars in loans on residential real estate projects using shares of the Wilton Companies as collateral.
Wilton was discharged from his Chapter 7 bankruptcy case this year.