FPFC pursuing liquidation

By Jamison Cocklin



First Place Financial Corp., the former holding company of First Place Bank, has asked a U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware to convert its existing protection case to one that would allow it to liquidate and dissolve.

The company, which first filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October and saw its primary asset, First Place Bank, sold to Michigan-based Talmer Bancorp for a final sale price of about $60 million, is now asking the court to convert its case to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which would allow it to conclude its business operations now that its primary creditors have been paid.

Talmer, which now operates First Place, agreed to purchase all of the bank’s stock for $45 million in addition to an additional $15 million, payable by 2033 to First Place bondholders.

Also during the course of the sale, FPFC forfeited a subsidiary, First Place Holdings, which counted among its primary assets a small office building in Boardman, as well as a small share of tax refunds.

“The debtor currently has few remaining assets to continue to fund operations as a debtor in Chapter 11,” the company wrote in a court filing earlier this week.

“Furthermore, the debtor’s primary creditors have received direct payment in satisfaction of their claims.”

FPFC, according to court documents, also believes it’s in the interest of all parties involved to allow the company to go forward with Chapter 7 liquidation.

A hearing on the matter is set for March 27.

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