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Sandton, creditors reach settlement in FLS sale

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Sandton Capital Partners announced today a settlement with creditors from its purchase of The Free Lance–Star Publishing Co.

Sandton purchased the Fredericksburg media company for $30.2 million in a bankruptcy auction earlier this summer. The settlement resolves issues over how to distribute proceeds from the sale.

Details were not made public because the agreement has not yet been filed with the bankruptcy court. The judge in the case must sign off on the settlement, but Sandton principal Rob Orr said all parties involved were happy with the agreement.

A hearing on the settlement is scheduled for July 31.

Sandton purchased a loan from BB&T last summer that had been made to the FLS in 2007 to build Print Innovators, a commercial printing plant on Belman Road in Fredericksburg. The outstanding balance was about $38 million.

The FLS then filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and Sandton was the winning bidder in a May 15 auction. The sale ended the Rowe family’s 130-year tenure as owners of the company.

Sandton has been operating The Free Lance–Star, its website, radio stations and commercial printing operation since closing on the purchase June 19.

“We’re very happy with the transition,” Orr said. “Both the staff and the community are responding well.”