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Chapman increases Crystal Cathedral purchase offer

The revised bid comes in response to a reassessment of creditors’ requirements

by Caitlin AdamsPublished: November 02, 2011 02:10 PM

Chapman University has increased its purchase offer for the Crystal Cathedral property and buildings by $1.5 million, bringing the school’s total bid to $51.5 million.

The Crystal Cathedral Board of Directors already selected the university’s earlier purchase offer of $50 million last week. However, according to a Chapman University spokesperson, a more recent estimate of creditor demands suggested that a revised figure would be necessary to cover the church’s debts.

The Crystal Cathedral Board of Directors voted to accept Chapman’s $50 million bid for the Ministry campus on Oct. 25; it was a “reluctant” decision, according to the church.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, which offered $53.6 million for the campus and buildings, filed an objection to the church’s selection of Chapman’s initial bid, stating that under the terms outlined in the offer, creditors are unlikely to be fully repaid what they are owed. Moreover, the diocese argues in its filing that if the Ministry follows the lease and buy-back options offered by the university, the church will be unable to meet the ongoing payments, due to slipping donations. The diocese’s filing goes on to say that its own offer to purchase the iconic church is the superior bid, and that it has conveyed an increased offer to the Ministry in recent discussions.

The next bankruptcy court hearing on the reorganization plan is scheduled for Nov. 14.

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