SteadyServ sold to largest creditor after no other bids

A judge has approved the sale of Fishers-based SteadyServ Technologies LLC to its biggest creditor after no other bids were made for the company in bankruptcy proceedings.

RBE Investments LLC, the company’s largest secured creditor, made a nearly $5.8 million credit bid to purchase the seven-year-old company and its assets after a turnaround plan for the company failed.

RBE Investments’ bid was the only one submitted during an auction held Monday. United States Bankruptcy Judge Jeffrey Graham approved the sale of the company and its assets to RBE Investments in a sale hearing held Tuesday. RBE Investments is controlled by Indianapolis businessman Robert Eveleigh, president of Indianapolis-based Lawler Manufacturing Co., a century-old maker of flow-control and mixing valves for the plumbing industry.

SteadyServ, a beer-service technology firm that gained national attention with a draft-beer management and inventory system called iKeg, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Feb. 7 after missing sales projections in nearly every quarter since its founding in 2012.

The company’s bankruptcy filing listed assets of just $54,999 and liabilities of $6.5 million, much of it in the form of secured debt owed to Eveleigh and RBE Investments.

SteadyServ employment had fallen from nearly 50 to 14 since it made a high-profile move from Carmel to Fishers in September 2016. That’s well off the figure of 154 employees the company predicted it would have by now when it entered into an incentive agreement in 2014 with the Indiana Economic Development Corp. The company stood to receive $2.3 million in state tax credits if it fully met hiring goals but has claimed less than $95,000.

Entrepreneur David Becker, CEO of Fishers-based First Internet Bancorp and an investor in many software startups, became chairman and CEO of SteadyServ and sought to raise $3 million to $5 million from a range of sources, including himself, to inject into the company in the 90 days following the bankruptcy filing.

Becker laid out a scenario where the company could break even financially within a year and achieve annual recurring revenue of $4.5 million in three years. Ultimately, that plan was not successful, and company officials prepared to sell.

To keep the company afloat during the attempted reorganization, Becker and the investment arm of the Indiana Spine Group offered to provide $1 million in financing, but it wanted that loan to be placed ahead of Eveleigh’s secured claims in repayment priority, which a judged approved. That loan was due to be repaid this month, another factor leading to the sale. 

Jim Knauer, a partner in the law firm of Kroger Gardis & Regas and Eveleigh’s attorney, previously told IBJ he believes his client will “try to do what’s necessary to make (SteadyServ) successful," saying Eveleigh still thinks there’s opportunity for the company.

Knauer and Andrew Kight, an attorney at Jacobson Hile Kight who represents SteadyServ, were not immediately available for comment.

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