The COVID-19 crisis has shuttered businesses and moved all but the truly essential to remote work operations. Commerce, however, must go on. The closure restrictions did not prevent The York Water Company from completing an acquisition of the wastewater treatment system of Felton Borough on April 9, 2020, in a transaction consummated remotely, start to finish, in full compliance with the Governor’s stay at home order. Stock and Leader coordinated and concluded the acquisition for York Water. Ron Hershner, counsel to York Water in the transaction, received a call from J T Hand on March 26, requesting settlement, if at all possible, on April 9, just two weeks later.
York Water and Felton Borough had entered into an Agreement of Sale on December 28, 2018, but the acquisition required PUC approval. PUC approved the acquisition on March 26, 2020 and Hand immediately called Hershner. Hershner noted,
“When JT called, I readily agreed and promised to get the deal to closing by April 9, but frankly had no idea whether it could be done. A new governmental order, directive or guideline was coming down every day. Our entire firm had transitioned entirely to remote operations on March 17. We often work from home but now everything needed to happen from our kitchen tables or dens. Offices such as the Recorder of Deeds and Tax Assessment were closed to the public. We were still figuring out how to do business in the stay-at-home world. But with great cooperation from Felton Borough officials and their solicitor, Stock and Leader was able to guide York Water to complete the acquisition of the system on time clearing the way for York Water to assume operation of the Felton system.”
Hand, who was recently installed as President and CEO of York Water, praised the Stock and Leader team,
“In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis York Water received regulatory approval to acquire Felton Borough’s wastewater system. I knew if anyone could make this deal happen on time Stock and Leader could. In spite of limited access to tax and parcel data and no opportunity to meet face-to-face, the superb team at Stock and Leader was able to collect and prepare all of the necessary documentation to settle on this important acquisition in just 14 days. Stock and Leader focused on and took care of the transaction details so we could focus on what we do best, providing utility services to our customers.”
Hershner, Managing Partner of Stock and Leader, expressed praise for the York Water team,
“The success of this transaction was possible because of the amazing team at York Water. JT and his executive leadership are great partners. We are fortunate to have a local utility led by talented, community-minded professionals.”