Former Celadon affiliate 19th Capital to close, terminate 199 workers

19th Capital Group, an asset financing and fleet management company formerly associated with Celadon Group Inc., has announced it plans to close its facility at 9702 E. 30th St. in Indianapolis, eliminating 199 jobs.

The company owns and manages Quality Co., formerly a Celadon subsidiary.

On Wednesday, 19th Capital notified the Indiana Department of Workforce Development by letter that the company will begin to wind down operations on or after March 27, with most layoffs happening during a 14-day period that begins April 27.

“When the facility is closed, 199 employees will be permanently laid off,” 19th Capital’s letter to the state says.

The list of affected positions ranges from sale reps and accounts receivable analysts to truck maintenance workers and drivers.

A phone call to 19th Capital’s general counsel, James Zender, was not immediately returned Thursday.

In 2015 Celadon sold a portfolio of semi-tractors and leases to 19th Capital Group LLC, which at the time was a joint venture in which Wayne, Pennsylvania-based equity firm Larsen MacColl Partners held a majority interest. Celadon and its executives held a minority-ownership stake.

In December 2016, Celadon terminated that joint venture and formed a new joint venture with Toronto, Canada-based Element Fleet Management.

Celadon’s auditor raised questions about the transactions in May 2017, setting off a cascade of actions that led to a criminal investigation of Celadon and charges filed against several executives. Celadon filed for bankruptcy and ceased operations in December.

In October 2018, Element announced it was purchasing 100% of the ownership of 19th Capital and planned “to undertake an orderly run off of 19th Capital’s assets over the next 36 months.”

In its 2019 financial report issued on Tuesday, Element said it began working to sell off 19th Capital late last year. The effort attracted nearly 50 potential buyers but Element could not come to acceptable terms for a sale, the company said.

Given the deterioration in the truck market, Element said it now plans to accelerate its liquidation of 19th Capital’s assets, “immediately reducing the scale of 19th Capital operations and engaging with third-party lenders.”

In the earnings report, Element President and CEO Jay Forbes described 19th Capital as an “ill-fated and costly investment.”

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