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Geneva Steel's land sale awaits final OK today

Attorneys Monday were scratching out a final order approving the sale of Geneva Steel's 1,700 acres to a Sandy-based developer for $46.8 million.

The order was expected to be filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Utah by midnight Monday, with anticipated approval of the agreement today by Judge Glen E. Clark.

Last week, Anderson Development LLC came away as the highest bidder in an auction for the Vineyard-based industrial site. The Sandy developer beat out a bid of $46.6 million by Utah Lake LLC, which had the financial backing of New Jersey-based Prudential Real Estate Investors.

After losing the auction, Utah Lake vowed to object to Anderson's winning bid, saying its offer of $46.6 million was better because it included a non-cash environmental insurance policy.

However, on Monday, Utah Lake did not raise those objections.

James Markus, Geneva's Chapter 11 trustee, said the Utah Lake bid was not the highest or best bid, nor did the bid's insurance policy create any value for the estate.

Under terms of the sales agreement, the winning bidder must assume all responsibility for any remaining demolition and environmental remediation work.

Markus said he believes Anderson Development can close on the transaction and that the company has sufficient cash to clean up the Geneva site.

The final sales agreement was expected to contain a provision that allows Utah Lake to purchase the property at $46.6 million if Anderson Development fails to close on the transaction.

The sale of Geneva's land is expected to help pay off its unsecured creditors, who are owed roughly $75 million.

Geneva, which has been in bankruptcy since January 2002, already has sold its core steelmaking equipment to a Chinese firm for $40 million. In March, Geneva sold its water rights for $88.5 million to the Central Utah Water Conservancy District.