Schneider heirs to gain control of Galt House hotel
The roughly two-dozen heirs to the late real estate developer Al J. Schneider will gain control over the Galt House hotel and other company assets at the end of the month. That means hotel will not be sold – as first planned – by the five-person group of trustees who are currently in charge of the Al J. Schneider Co.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The roughly two-dozen heirs to the late real estate developer Al J. Schneider will gain control over the Galt House hotel and other company assets at the end of the month.
That means the hotel will not be sold – as first planned – by the five-person group of trustees who are currently in charge of the Al J. Schneider Co.
On Friday, an attorney for four of five trustees acknowledged that a proposed $135 million sale of the riverfront hotel to Columbia Sussex Corp. will not happen by May 31, when the trust expires and the stock of the Schneider Co. is scheduled to be distributed to the more-than 20 Schneider heirs.
If the hotel is sold, it will be with the consent of all the Schneider Co. heirs, who will control the company according to their various holdings of shares.
Lawyers for the family members who opposed the hotel’s sale described the development as a “settlement,” while attorneys for the other side said it’s merely an agreement on certain matters and not the end of the intra-family litigation that began in January.
The case pits Schneider’s four surviving children against each other – with sisters Mary Moseley and Dawn Hitron favoring a sale of the hotel and sisters Christe Coe and Nancy O’Hearn opposing it.
“The settlement is advantageous for all parties in that this fine, Louisville iconic family business will continue on,” said Jeff McKenzie, an attorney for Coe and O’Hearn.
“The parties have come to an agreement concerning some very specific issues related to the conclusion of the trust,” said attorney Amy Cubbage, who represents Moseley and Hitron.
Moseley, the chief executive of the Schneider Co., is one of the five trustees who have controlled the family company since her father’s death in 2001.
The trustees last year began pursuing a plan to sell the company’s vast real estate holdings – including the Galt House, the One Riverfront Plaza and Waterfront Plaza office buildings and the Crown Plaza airport hotel.
The only pending deal was for the Galt House, which has more than 1,000 rooms between its two riverfront towers and is the largest hotel in downtown Louisville.
Coe and O’Hearn sued to stop the sales from happening before the trust reaches its 15-year conclusion on May 31 and all of Schneider’s beneficiaries, including grandchildren, gain control over the company.
Schneider left each of his six children with an equal number of shares in the company. Some shares are now owned by grandchildren, meanwhile some beneficiaries have redeemed their shares for cash.
In April 2015, the Schneider Co. borrowed $50 million from U.S. Bank to buy back shares from family members who opted for cash payments, according to a mortgage filed with Jefferson County Clerk's office.
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