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TRUST ASSET: The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame will transition to a new trust honoring late hotelier John Q. Hammons, according to the latest court filings.
SBJ photo by Wes Hamilton
TRUST ASSET: The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame will transition to a new trust honoring late hotelier John Q. Hammons, according to the latest court filings.

Sports Hall of Fame stays with new Hammons trust

Posted online

The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame will remain with a new charitable trust honoring late hotelier John Q. Hammons, established as part of a lengthy bankruptcy battle nearing court confirmation in Kansas.

As part of the bankruptcy proceedings, JD Holdings LLC on March 16 filed a revised settlement plan and disclosure statement detailing agreements set forth via previous negotiations with the co-trustees of the existing Revocable Trust of John Q. Hammons, Jacquie Dowdy and Greggory Groves.

Owned by Jonathan Eilian, New York-based JD Holdings is the largest creditor in the bankruptcy case.

On March 6, Judge Robert Berger of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court District of Kansas formally upheld JD Holdings’ executed settlement plans and disclosure statement between the parties, also allowing the New York investment firm a $495.9 million claim, jointly and severally, against all associated debtors in the bankruptcy.

JD Holdings agreed to contribute to a new charitable trust to honor Hammons, first granting at least $5 million in cash and assets to the charity, and then at least $15 million in additional assets if the Hammons estate and all “respective principals, trustees, beneficiaries, shareholders, partners, members, directors, officers, employees and other persons or entities under their control” cooperate in implementing the settlement.

Of the $20 million in charitable cash and assets, court documents only identify the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame as a contribution going to the new trust.

As part of the agreement, JD Holdings is offering an estimated $615,000 for Dowdy and Groves to close down the existing JQH trust, including court probate expenses for the Hammons estate. Per the revised settlement plan, excess costs from those processes will be decreased from JD Holdings’ contribution to the new trust.

Dowdy and Groves would not be appointed to the new trust, though both would designate the organizations to receive the assets determined by Eilian as donations to the trust.

Dowdy and Groves are being forced, per the agreement, to resign from the existing trust, their leadership roles with John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts and any other position they hold with company affiliates. They are slated to receive severance and benefits packages – roughly $550,000 to Dowdy and $330,000 to Groves.

A purchase agreement from JD Holdings remains forthcoming, detailing which assets of the Hammons estate Eilian would acquire. The agreement is expected no later than 10 days before the court confirmation hearing, which is the ultimate exit of the case. A date for the hearing has not been set.

Under the settlement, JD Holdings laid out plans to acquire all or significantly all of Hammons’ remaining nearly 150 assets, including JQH Hotels’ current portfolio of 35 hotels.

The settlement promises to pay off all of Hammons’ creditors, secured and unsecured, other than liabilities JD Holdings successfully discharges in court.

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