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Stephenson Group acquires Lake George-based home-building company

Stephenson Group acquires Lake George-based home-building company

A bankruptcy court judge has approved the sale of a bulk of Lincoln Logs home-building company, base

A bankruptcy court judge has approved the sale of a bulk of Lincoln Logs to an entity connected to a nearby Adirondack lumber yard.

Following a Jan. 30 bankruptcy court auction in Albany, Judge Robert Littlefield on Friday authorized the sale of Lincoln Logs’ assets for $2.6 million. That sum falls 25 percent short of the minimum $3.5 million the Lake George area log home kit manufacturer had expected them to fetch.

After falling victim to the credit crunch and housing slump and being burdened by recent acquisitions, Lincoln Logs filed for Chapter 11 protection in September. But by December the deepening recession had extinguished the Chestertown company’s reorganization hopes, prompting it to put itself on the auction block.

For $2.4 million, the Stephenson Group will acquire Lincoln Logs’ Chestertown production facility, model home land in Lake George and $23 million in existing customer purchase agreements. It also gets the rights to copyrights and trademarks, motor vehicles plus various production and office equipment.

The Stephenson Group also picked up the AFI Acquisition Company, a Lincoln Logs subsidiary that owns a sawmill outside Saratoga Springs. That operation sits on 15.6 acres and it provided raw materials for home-building kits.

Court documents did not provide details on the Stephenson Group. Lincoln Logs attorney Angela Miller in an e-mail confirmed the buyer has ties to the Stephenson Lumber Co. in Riparius, which is less than six miles west of Chestertown. She did not say how the Stephenson Group will utilize Lincoln Logs’ assets.

Larry Stephenson, the lumber company’s president, did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

During last month’s auction, James Peck bought for $100,000 vacant land and an inventory site in Chestertown. Yellowstone Log Homes in Rigby, Idaho, purchased for $100,000 Snake River Homes. Snake River is the Rexburg, Idaho, Swedish cope-style kit manufacturer that Lincoln Logs paid $1.2 million for in 2003.

Lincoln Logs was founded in 1977 and by last year it had grown to have an 80-member nationwide dealer network. When it filed for Chapter 11 in September, the company employed 49, mostly in upstate New York, but that number had dwindled down to three by late-December.

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