Architect-engineer Page is buying the assets of bankrupt EYP Group Holdings, the companies announced. The $70.4-million acquisition substantially increases the size of Page, previously known as Page Southerland Page, adding EYP Group's 500 employees to the parent's 800.
Based in Washington, D.C.,Page submitted a successful bid for EYP Group's assets June 22 and opened a $50-million revolving line of credit from Bank of America to help finance the acquisition, bankruptcy court documents show.
EYP Group, based in Albany, N.Y., filed in April for protection from its creditors in federal bankruptcy court in Delaware. The practice was embroiled in lawsuits by former staff and managers who either had shares in the employee stock ownership trust or accepted notes in lieu of shares. Soon after its ESOP, which replaced financing provided in 2011 by a private equity investor, EYP Group ran into financial trouble.
At about the same time or shortly after the ESOP closing, the firm became entangled in a New York State scandal known as the "Buffalo Billions."
Former CEO and EYP Founder Tom Birdsey became a potential witness in a contract-steering probe involving associates of former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Alain Kaloyeros, former president of SUNY Polytechnic University.
Kaloyeros and other executives were convicted of wire fraud and are appealing to the US Supreme Court, which recently agreed to hear the case. EYP Group, which was not charged with wrongdoing, designed a new building at the university in Albany and leased space in it.
EYP Group collectively owed $139 million to 111 note holders, including many who are former managers and employees who either held stock or accepted promissory notes.
According to Page CEO Thomas McCarthy, EYP staff and retirees "do get cash" from the acquisition although they must individually settle their claims with the bankruptcy court judge.
An attorney for the former staff and retirees could not immediately be reached for comment.
With a website that currently lists over 100 open positions at the firm, Page now sees even more opportunities at the company.
"We’re bringing the most compelling, innovative designs and expertise to each project we pursue regardless of scope or location, and we’ll be able to invest in research and thought leadership to co-create with our clients,” said McCarthy, in a statement.