The South Bay Law Firm Law Blog highlights developing trends in bankruptcy law and practice. Our aim is to provide general commentary on this evolving practice specialty.
 





 
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      Insolvency News and Analysis - Week Ending October 24, 2014
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    Posts Tagged ‘“New York”’

    Rock & Republic . . . and Venue

    Monday, April 12th, 2010

    Many readers of this blog will be well aware that “venue shopping” – usually to a known, “debtor-friendly” jurisdiction such as Delaware or the Southern District of New York – is a common feature of Chapter 11 practice.  For those who may not be, the primary idea is that the debtor’s management, looking to increase the likelihood of a successful reorganization, often identifies a “debtor-friendly” jurisdiction and seeks to fit within the venue provisions for commencing a reorganization case there.

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    But though the federal venue provisions (at least as interpreted by these courts) generally make it easy to obtain access to file a Chapter 11 case, not every such case filed in New York or Delaware stays there without a fight from one or more creditors who disagree with the debtor’s choice of forum.

    Last week, another example of creditors disagreeing with the debtor’s choice of forum – in the strongest possible terms – presented itself in the recently-filed Chapter 11 bankruptcies of Rock & Republic Enterprises, Inc.  and Triple R, Inc.

    The purveyors of high-end jeans sought Chapter 11 protection on April 1 in Manhattan.  Though the bulk of their management and facilities – and their creditors – are located in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, the companies opted for an East Coast venue, each citing a single office – and a showroom – as the basis for their request to reorganize in New York’s Southern District.

    The companies’ primary secured creditor, RKF, LLC, wasn’t pleased.  It immediately filed an “Emergency Motion to Transfer Venue” to the Central District of California, alleging:

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     – The companies’ status as California corporations;

    - The companies’ management offices, books and records, and address for service of process are in the Los Angeles area;

    - All but 2 of 10 of the companies’ leased premises are in the Los Angeles area;

    - 16 of the companies’ top 25 creditors are based in Los Angeles (only 2 are in New York); and

    - 9 of 14 litigation matters involving the companies are being heard in California.

    On Friday, RKF was joined by Zabin Industries, Inc.  Zabin is one of the companies’ self-described “larger unsecured creditors” and is also based in Southern California.

    No word yet on a date for the hearing on RKF’s “Emergency Motion” – as of this writing, presiding Judge Arthur Gonzales hadn’t set one.  Meanwhile, the Judge has set an accelerated hearing date on the companies’ request to reject an exclusive distribution agreement with Richard I Koral, Inc. (dba “Jessica’s”), the companies’ present off-price distributor.

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    Chapter 15 Round-Up: July-September 2009

    Monday, October 5th, 2009

    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.

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    Chapter 15 Round-Up: May and June 2009

    Friday, July 3rd, 2009

    2009 is shaping up to be an extraordinary year for business bankruptcy.  Headlines and hoopla aside, however, it hasn’t been all about domestic Chapter 11 work.  The following brief summaries (drawn from news reports and from the national dockets) highlight some of the more newsworthy cross-border matters of the past 60 days:

    WC Wood – Guelph, Ontario-based W.C. Wood Ltd., manufacturer of freezers, fridges and commercial dehumidifiers, sought Chapter 15 recognition in Delaware along with its affiliates concurrently with the companies’ application for protection under the Canadian Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.  The US filing was commenced to further the Canadian reorganization, and to extend the automatic stay to protect officers and directors of the companies.

    Kumkang Valve – Kumkang Valve Co. Ltd. sought Chapter 15 recognition in Houston to protect its US -based assets while it pursued a “revival proceeding” in the District Bankruptcy Court for Daegu, South Korea, where it is headquartered. To do so, the manufacturer of trunnion mount ball valves for the oil and gas industry had to overcome objections lodged by Enterprise Products Operating LLC, who had previously filed a US District Court suit alleging that Kumkang knowingly supplied faulty valves to Enterprise when it was constructing facilities in Wyoming and Colorado.  Bankruptcy Judge Wesley Steen is presiding over the US proceeding.

    Gandi Innovations – Canadian grand-format inkjet manufacturer Gandi Innovations, which operates under the brand name Gandinnovations, obtained recognition from Bankruptcy Judge Leif Clark in San Antonio, TX very shortly after its entry into Canadian Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act proceedings.  The company sought to protect US assets and stay litigation then pending in Bexar County, TX while it prosecuted a plan of arrangement in Toronto.

    Straumur-Burdaras Investment Bank – Iceland’s Straumur-Burdaras Investment Bank hf is seeking recognition of its Reykjavík-based restructuring efforts from New York Bankruptcy Judge Robert E. Gerber. Recognition would protect Straumur-Burdaras’ US-based assets, valued at $190 million.  The commercial bank’s Chapter 15 petition, filed June 2, follows that of three other Icelandic financial institutions – Glitnir Banki hf, Kaupthing Bank hf and Landsbanki Islands hf – all of which sought similar protection in New York. Straumur-Burdaras’ recognition hearing is calendared for July 14.

    Fraser Papers – Toronto-based lumber, pulp and paper producer Fraser Papers Inc. and affiliates sought recognition in Delaware for their restructuring under the Canadian Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA). According to papers filed in connection with the related June 18 petitions, the filing was commenced to further the effect of orders already entered under the CCAA and designed both to protect the companies’ US assets and to enjoin suits against officers and directors.

    Nanbu – Tokyo-based Nanbu Inc. has requested that US Bankruptcy Judge Robert J. Faris of Honolulu grant recognition of its foreign bankruptcy proceeding currently pending in the Civil Affairs division of Tokyo District Court. Court papers reveal virtually nothing about the company or its Japanese proceeding, and note only that recognition was sought in the US so that the company’s foreign representative, Tsunehiro Sasanami, can take title to and convey certain timeshare properties located in Hawaii.  A hearing on the recognition request is calendared for July 13; however, under the Bankruptcy Court’s local rules, a recognition order may be entered without a formal hearing where there are no objections.

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