Sparks fly as CPC buy-out extended to July
Shareholders in a colorful downtown parking company were recently told that the April 1 deadline for purchase offers has been extended to July 1. But before the May 9 letter announcing that decision found its way into the hands of shareholder and would-be buyout artist Richard Spurzem, he was steaming over the fact that his $9.3 million offer, submitted on the original deadline day, had gone unanswered.
"Why are they being so secretive?" says Spurzem. "We're just a little community thing– why not just have a meeting?"
Fellow shareholder Spencer Connerat agrees and says that Spurzem was "clearly mistreated" by the company's failure to even acknowledge his offer.
"We don't have any secrets," says company chair Jim Berry, adding that he's sorry Spurzem feels let down by the lack of a response. He says the company has received "several" offers and that "a couple more" prospective buyers indicated that more time was needed.
As previously reported, the City of Charlottesville is paying law firm Williams Mullen $200,000 in consulting fees to tell it whether to buy CPC. Last year, the City funded a $153,000 design contest for two downtown asphalt blocks including the CPC parking lot.
Berry declined to say whether the City will be one of the bidders, but he notes that extending the deadline gives would-be buyers time to create more attractive offers.
"We try," says Berry, "to operate in the best interest of the shareholders."