The Al J. Schneider Co. will not sell any of its properties until after May 31, according to a tentative agreement between the four daughters of the late businessman Al J. Schneider.
The Alton John Schneider Restated Revocable Trust owns stock in the Al J. Schneider Co., which in turn owns hotels and office buildings estimated to be worth more than $300 million. Under the direction of president and CEO Mary Moseley, the company planned to liquidate all its assets and even had a buyer offering $135 million for the Galt House Hotel.
But two of Al J. Schneider’s daughters — Christe Coe and Nancy O’Hearn — filed a lawsuit against their sisters Moseley and Dawn Hitron to prevent the sale from going through. Moseley and Hitron later filed a lawsuit against Coe and O’Hearn in Jefferson County Circuit Court asking a judge to affirm their rights as trustees to sell the Galt House Hotel.
Despite the bitter family dispute, the two parties have been able to agree on one point — that the Al J. Schneider Co. won’t sell any of its assets until after the trust dissolves.
Basically, the agreement says the four sisters will continue to follow the terms of the trust, which has been in place for more than a decade, rather than selling the company before the trust dissolves.
Come May 31, the trust will be dissolved and all the stock it owns in Al J. Schneider Co. will be distributed among Al J. Schneider’s 21 heirs. When that happens, the company can try once again to sell the properties, but the majority of the 21 beneficiaries will have to approve the terms of the sale.
Previously, approval was only needed from the six co-trustees overseeing the trust.
Rebecca Jennings, an attorney with Middleton Reutlinger who is representing Moseley and Hitron, emphasized to Insider Louisville that all lawsuits are not resolved, saying the original version of today’s Courier-Journal story on the case was misleading.
“That wasn’t correct,” she said. “There is an agreement on just a small piece.”
The agreement must be approved by a judge in Jefferson County District Court.
The lawsuit in which Coe and O’Hearn argue that Moseley and Hitron breached their fiduciary duties by trying to sell the Galt House and other assets is still active in Jefferson County Circuit Court, as is the lawsuit filed by Moseley and Hitron, according to Jennings.
She said she was unsure if the two sides would settle those cases as well.
“We haven’t really gotten that far,” she said.
Grundy later told IL that Moseley and Hitron’s case against Coe and O’Hearn in Circuit Court would be moot if the settlement is approved. And once Grundy’s client is able to inspect Al J. Schneider Co.’s books, Grundy said, Coe and O’Hearn will likely drop the case regarding an alleged breach of fiduciary duty.
Meanwhile, the offer that Crestview Hills, Ky.-based hotel management company Columbia Sussex Corp. made on the Galt House Hotel has expired, Jennings confirmed. No other offers are currently on the table, and it is unknown if Columbia Sussex will try again after May 31, meaning the lawsuit could have effectively killed the sale.
“That’s really up to Columbia Sussex whether or not they want to bring that back to the beneficiaries,” she said.
IL previously reported that another company, New York-based Trinity Hotel Investors, expressed interest in buying the Galt House Hotel. The company flips hotels, according to Alfred Frazzini, a principal with the company.
“I can tell you that we are obviously in the hotel business,” he said. “We are experienced people who buy and renovate and repurpose hotels.”
The company sent a letter of interest to the Al J. Schneider Co. but never received a response, Frazzini said, noting that Trinity Hotel Investors did and still does have an interest possibly buying the Galt House Hotel.