The trustee overseeing the bankruptcy of Acorn Sign Graphics has taken the first step toward unloading what’s left of the longtime Henrico-based company.
Bill Broscious, who was appointed to handle Acorn’s estate after it ceased operations and filed Chapter 7 on Feb. 23, received court approval on Wednesday to enlist an auctioneer to sell the company’s assets.
Richmond-based Dudley Resources will carry out what is planned as a two-pronged approach to a sale, which would look to generate cash for Acorn’s creditors.
One option would include selling the sign-making business in its entirety to a single buyer. Option two would involve selling off assets in a piecemeal fashion to multiple buyers at a public auction.
Both options would involve the sale of equipment, materials, office furnishings, vehicles, customer lists, intellectual property and the leases on its two buildings on West Clay Street in the Westwood area of Henrico, and potentially another property lease in Northern Virginia.
The court has yet to approve a date for when the sales process would begin.
“The trustee is proposing to immediately liquidate certain property of the estate, like certain vehicles and will seek to liquidate the remainder of the debtor’s assets shortly thereafter,” a recent court filing states. “In addition, the trustee is receiving numerous inquiries regarding the purchase of the debtor’s assets.”
The company lists $2.3 million in assets in its filings to-date.
Acorn’s fall into bankruptcy came after nearly two decades in its current incarnation under the ownership of husband-and-wife Steve and Beth Gillispie. Just five years ago it was named to the Inc. 5000 list of the nation’s fastest growing companies with $6 million in revenue.
The company had 43 employees at the time of its closure.
Acorn said its demise was due in part to what it says is a dispute with one of its biggest customers, Henrico-based Lumber Liquidators. Acorn states in a recent bankruptcy filing that it is owed more than $1 million from the publicly traded flooring retailer.
Broscious also has enlisted attorney Jeremy Williams of Kutak Rock to assist in the bankruptcy process.