A lawsuit filed last month has applied the brakes to the sale of 4,500-acre Hana Ranch to Colorado-based Bio-Logical Capital, a real estate investment and conservation company.
Filed by Shea Halligan, a partner with current owners Hana Ranch Partners LLC, the suit states that in accordance with the purchase agreement, the other partners do not have the authority to complete the sale. It also alleges that the $35 million transaction is priced below market value.
Hana Ranch went on sale in September 2008 with a price tag of $65 million that was later lowered to $55 million. After some communication, it was announced in August 2012 that an agreement had been made between the two companies for Bio-Logical Capital to acquire the property from Hana Ranch Partners. Since then, the property was undergoing a due diligence investigation period pending the sale.
Bio-Logical Capital does business as a sort of master developer of ecosystems and believes that large-scale conservation and resource protection can create money. They purchase large properties that have been damaged by deforestation or the like and explore the sustainable capabilities they offer.
When the sale was green-lighted last year, Bio-Logical Capital had plans to preserve the Hana Ranch property as a working cattle ranch while expanding its operations to include organic farming. Bio-Logical Capital senior vice president and director for Hawaii Guy Kaulukukui was reportedly hopeful for what they would accomplish there.
“It is at once a privilege and a great responsibility,” said Kaulukukui in an Aug. 15, 2012 Pacific Business News article. “Hana is one of the last, best places in Hawaii untouched by urbanization, rich in abundant natural and cultural resources, and with the potential to become a model for sustainable ranching and farming practices in the state.”
Now, Bio-Logical Capital’s dream of becoming the fourth Hana Ranch owner in the past 30 years looks bleak as they wait it out while the litigation takes its course among the Hana Ranch Partners.