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Acme Files New Suit Against Chambers in Branch Tussle

2 min read

Acme Holding Co., the parent company of the $107 million-asset Allied Bank of Mulberry, recently opened a new front in the ongoing financial dispute with its lead creditor.

Acme and Allied Bank sued Chambers Bank of Danville alleging tortious interference with the planned sale of three branches.

The Lex Golden family, which controls Acme and Allied, hoped to sell bank offices in Mansfield (Sebastian County), Van Buren and Alma. However, Chambers wouldn’t sign off on a proposed deal that could’ve netted Allied Bank about $2 million.

The Acme-Allied complaint, filed in Crawford County Circuit Court, doesn’t name the proposed buyer. Today’s Bank of Huntsville was identified last year by our sources as the unnamed party.

Chambers holds all the shares of Allied as security on more than $4.5 million in delinquent Acme debt.

Acme is 14 months into a Chapter 11 bankruptcy that Chambers and other major creditors are seeking to convert to Chapter 7 liquidation and an auction of Allied Bank.

Acme listed total assets of $12.2 million and liabilities of $11.4 million in its bankruptcy petition.

According to its most recent monthly operating report, total assets have fallen to less than $8.4 million while total liabilities have climbed to nearly $12.4 million.

The complaint also mentions that Walter Quinn, the lead investor in Heartland Bank of Little Rock, tried to buy Acme’s debt in August 2013 from Chambers Bank.

That unsuccessful offer was tied to the proposed three-branch sale and a sale of the remaining Allied branches.

The various parties could never come to terms with Chambers, and Acme filed for bankruptcy to prevent Chambers from taking ownership of the Allied Bank shares through foreclosure.

You may recall that Acme tried to force the branch sale in bankruptcy court.

However, bank regulators pointed out that Acme doesn’t own the Allied Bank branches, and the bank’s assets are separate from Acme’s.

Acme’s sole source of money to service its debt is dividends from Allied, an income stream that regulators turned off because of the bank’s poor fiscal condition.

The last time Allied paid a dividend to Acme was in the third quarter of 2010.

Allied is prohibited from declaring dividends under the terms of an ongoing cease-and-desist order by the Arkansas State Bank Department and a supervisory agreement with the St. Louis Federal Reserve.

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