Arkansas Attorney General seeks default judgement against Massachusetts-based National Timber Partners, accused of breaching contract with state retirement system APERS by failing to pay a portion of US$110M agreed to buy APERS' interest in a timber fund
LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas
January 8, 2014
– Attorney General Dustin McDaniel filed a motion for default judgment today against a Massachusetts-based real-estate company accused of breaching a contract with the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System.
National Timber Partners LLC of Williamstown, Mass., entered into a contract with the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System in October 2012. In the contract, the defendants agreed to purchase APERS’ interest in the NTP Timber Plus Fund I, L.P., in three installments totaling $110 million.
However, National Timber failed to pay all of the second installment due in June 2013. McDaniel filed suit in September for breach of contract. The third and final installment, which was due Dec. 31, has not been paid and the defendant has stated that it would likely not meet its obligation to pay that installment.
“It is always troubling when a company would disregard a contract with the State, but even more so when it involves money intended to support our public employee retirement system,” McDaniel said. “We have asked the Court to require National Timber to immediately pay its past-due debt to APERS, yet the company has continued to seek to avoid paying what it owes by delaying court proceedings.”
McDaniel seeks a default judgment because National Timber has failed to respond to the Attorney General’s lawsuit, which was filed Sept. 27 in Pulaski County Circuit Court. The defendant has twice asked for extensions of time to respond to the lawsuit, which APERS has agreed to. The last deadline for a response was Dec. 19 and still nothing has been filed.
National Timber paid its first installment of $85 million, which was due on or before Dec. 31, 2012. It has paid a portion of its scheduled $15 million installment that was due June 28. A final payment of $10 million due Dec. 31 was never made. The current amount owed to APERS by National Timber is $14,298,297.
McDaniel asked the Court to enter a default judgment against National Timber, ordering the company to pay its full obligation, in addition to pre- and post-judgment interest and attorneys’ fees and costs.