After a blazing start during the first half of 2009, it was a longer, slower summer for newsworthy Chapter 15 filings. The last 3 months have produced a handful of new cases, including:
- Stomp Pork – The Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based pig-farm operator sought Chapter 15 protection in Iowa’s Northern District on May 29 after being placed into receivership the same day under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act in the Court of the Queen’s Bench, Judicial Centre of Saskatoon. It was the company’s second trip to bankruptcy court after a prior, 2008 reorganization under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.
The company’s Candian receiver, Ernst & Young Inc., planned to liquidate the company’s assets and distribute the proceeds to its creditors. Prior to seeking protection in the US, the company received approval from the Candian court to sell its 130,000 pigs to Sheldon, Ohio-based G&D Pork LLC for $2.8 million. Of these proceeds, creditor National Bank reportedly received $2.7 million.
The filing was made in an abundance of caution, but ultimately proved unnecessary: Following the sale and the distribution of proceeds, the debtor obtained a dismissal of the recognition petition on the grounds that no further assets remained for the Iowa Bankruptcy Court to protect.
- Sky Power Corp. – The Toronto-based developer of solar and wind-powered energy projects in Canada, the US, India and Panama (and portfolio company of bankrupt Lehman Brothers) sought protection in Delaware in August, seven days after seeking protection under Canada’s Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
The company characterized its bankruptcy as part of a “domino effect” created by Lehman’s bankruptcy (Lehman was the major shareholder), as well as on reduced liquidity and on defaults triggered with respect to its senior debt by Lehman’s filing.
At the time of the filing, the company was reportedly relying on a $15 million DIP financing commitment from CIM Group Inc. for liquidity. The facility was priced at prime plus 875 basis points (prime is given a 3.5% floor), matures November 30, and permits CIM Group to credit bid the DIP obligation toward a purchase of SkyPower.
Judge Peter Walsh entered a recognition order on September 15.
- Daewoo Logistics Corp. - The Seoul, Korea-based shipping company sought protection in New York in mid-September to protect US-based assets from the immediate effects of an adverse arbitration ruling.
In addition to the award – obtained by Saga Forest Carriers International for $609,638 in New York’s Southern District – the company also faced 12 other actions, including five others pending in New York.
The company had previously sought creditors’ protection under the Republic of Korea’s Debtor Rehabilitation and Bankruptcy Act with the 8th Bankruptcy Division of the Seoul Central District Court. The Korean filing was allegedly a result of plummeting profits stemming from a decline in the market value of dry bulk shipping contracts. The company also identified a failed land purchase in Madagascar, which was disrupted by a military coup in that country, as a source of financial stress.
Bankruptcy Judge Burton Lifland granted a preliminary injunction on September 24.