Celadon bankruptcy: Company starts to move some assets

February 10, 2020

Greg Grisolano


Some of the assets that once belonged to Celadon Group are on the way to new owners.

Court records in the ongoing bankruptcy proceeding in Delaware federal court indicate that the company is negotiating the sale of some of its former holdings and properties.

Records indicate Celadon has reached a deal to sell its last remaining operating carrier – North Carolina-based Taylor Express to White Willow Holdings of Newfields, N.H., for $14.5 million. Celadon acquired Taylor Express for $43 million in January 2015.

Taylor Express employs 161 drivers and 169 power units hauling general freight, dry bulk commodities and tires, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Also potentially changing hands is the company’s trucking terminal in Laredo, Texas.

According to bankruptcy court documents, P.A.M. Transportation Services Inc. is seeking to purchase Celadon’s Laredo property. The purchase price is $19.8 million, and it would include more than 53 acres, a 130,000-square-foot warehouse and a 37,500-square-foot garage. The site is less than 20 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border on Interstate 35.

Among the other assets already sold by the company are a set four Andy Warhol screen prints from the artist’s “Truck” series. The prints are being sold to Melissa and Matthew Rubel for $105,000, according to court records. Melissa Rubel is the daughter of Celadon founder Steve Russell, who stepped down as CEO in 2012 and who died in 2016.

Not all of the company’s many holdings are on the move, however.

Court records indicate the company still has 10 properties that were not sold at auction late last month, including its corporate headquarters in Indianapolis.

Other aspects of the bankruptcy filing also have drawn concerns from one of the trustees.

U.S. Attorney Andrew Vara, who serves as a government trustee in the bankruptcy, has filed an objection to a proposal to pay three Celadon executives bonuses as part of a Key Employee Incentive Plan to help retain certain corporate executives to help facilitate the sale of the company’s assets during the bankruptcy.

Vara also criticized the process of having the bonus plan under seal, saying that Celadon “keeps too much information related to the KEIP out of public view, which is inconsistent with congressional intent for the scrutiny of executive bonus programs approved during Chapter 11 cases.”

Attorneys for a group of former Celadon employees who are seeking class action status for a lawsuit alleging Celadon violated federal labor laws by not providing adequate notice of its impending shutdown had also filed an objection to the company’s plans for liquidating its assets.