All items from Delaware Bankruptcy Litigation

On September 13th, the Liquidating Trustee (the “Trustee”) in the Graceway Pharmaceuticals (“Graceway”) bankruptcy filed preference complaints against approximately 25 different defendants. The Trustee is seeking to avoid and recover what he contends are avoidable preferences under section 547 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. 
Graceway filed chapter 11 petitions for bankruptcy on September 27, 2011.  The company’s origins date back to 2006 when it acquired portions of a pharmaceutical business from 3M.  Through the purchase, Graceway became what it described as a leader in the specialty pharmaceuticals market.  By 2008, the company’s net sales rose to over $340 million and continued to rise through 2009.  In 2010, Graceway began experiencing declining sales and net revenues.  The company attributed its poor performance to the recession and unfavorable patent litigation.
Going in to bankruptcy, Graceway planned to sell substantially all of its assets pursuant to section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code.  Once in bankruptcy, the Delaware Bankruptcy Court confirmed Graceway’s Joint Plan of Liquidation (the “Liquidating Plan”).  Under the Plan, Graceway entered into a Liquidating Trust Agreement wherein the Trustee could liquidate assets and distribute the proceeds.  The Trustee is also responsible for pursuing avoidable preference claims. 
The Graceway bankruptcy is before the Honorable Peter J. Walsh.  The law firm DLA Piper represents the Trustee and Plaintiff in the Graceway preference actions.



Posted 48 weeks 2 days ago

Introduction
Earlier this month, Pirinate Consulting Group LLC, in its capacity as Litigation Trustee (the “Trustee”) of the NewPage Creditor Litigation Trust, began filing complaints in the Delaware Bankruptcy Court seeking the avoidance and recovery of what the Trustee alleges are preferential transfers.  All total, the Trustee filed over 780 preference complaints. In 2011, I wrote a blog post on the commencement of the NewPage bankruptcy.  As a follow-up to my prior post, this post will look at events that have transpired since NewPage first filed for bankruptcy, as well how the Trustee would like to proceed now that it has commenced the preference complaints. 
Background
NewPage Corporation (“NewPage”) filed chapter 11 petitions for bankruptcy on September 7, 2011.  Prior to bankruptcy, NewPage produced coated paper used in magazines, brochures, catalogs and textbooks.  The company operated mills located in Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Canada.  The company filed for bankruptcy, citing a drop in demand for coated paper.  NewPage’s paper products were tied to demand for advertising and print media products.  With the onset of the recession in 2008, the advertising and print media markets experienced substantial drops in demand, which carried over to paper suppliers such as NewPage.
The Bankruptcy Proceeding



Posted 48 weeks 2 days ago

Introduction
On September 9, 2013, Furniture Brands International (“Furniture Brands”) and various related entities filed chapter 11 petitions for bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. Faced with a slowing economy and mounting debt, Furniture Brands hopes to sell some most of its assets through a section 363 bankruptcy auction. Relying on papers filed by Furniture Brands with the Bankruptcy Court, this post will look at Furniture Brands’ business, why the company filed for bankruptcy, the company’s finances and what the company hopes to achieve while in bankruptcy.
Business Operations



Posted 50 weeks 4 days ago

Introduction
On August 30, 2013, Longview Power, LLC, and various related entities (collectively, “Longview”), filed chapter 11 petitions for bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.  According to the Declaration of Longview’s CEO (the “Declaration” or “Decl.”), Longview was formed in 2003 for the purpose of building and operating a 700 megawatt coal-fired power plant in Maidsville, West Virginia.  Decl. at *2.  Longview contends that when operating at full capacity, its power plant is one of the most efficient in the country, having some of the lowest air emissions in the United States.  Id
Longview and its affiliates operate in two primary sectors: (i) electricty generation; and (ii) coal mining and processing.  Decl. at *5.  The company operates its power plant through Longview Power and its coal mining operations through Mepco Holdings, LLC.  Although Longview was formed more recently to operate the power plant, Mepco was formed over 50 years ago and describes itself as “one of the largest independent coal companies in North Appalachia.”  Decl. at *2.  Approximately half of Mepco’s annual coal production is sold to Longview through an intercompany supply contract.  Decl. at *2-3.  From July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2012, Longview Power’s revenues totaled $106 million while Mepco’s revenue totaled $149 million.  Id.
Longview’s Financials



Posted 51 weeks 10 hours ago

Introduction
On June 10, 2013, Exide Technologies (“Exide” or “Debtor”) filed a petition for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. Exide filed for bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. With operations in over 80 countries, Exide describes itself as “a global leader in stored electrical energy solutions and one of the world’s largest producers and recyclers of lead-acid batteries.” See Declaration of Exide’s CFO in Support of Chapter 11 Petitions and First Day Pleadings (the “Decl.”) at *2-3. 
 
Exide’s business falls into two general categories – transportation and industrial. On the transportation side, Exide manufactures and sells batteries used in cars, trucks, recreational and marine vehicles. In its industrial divisions, the company offers motive and network power batteries. Motive power batteries are used in equipment such as electric forklifts, floor cleaning equipment and the like. Network power batteries, on the other hand, power systems used in telecommunications, computers and health care industries, among others. Decl. at *3. Exide employs over 3,600 employees in the U.S., 1,100 of which are salaried and 2,500 are paid hourly. Decl. at *4. 
 



Posted 1 year 11 weeks ago

Introduction
On April 24, 2013, Robert S. Bernstein, Plan Administrator for the Berkline/BenchCraft bankruptcy estates, began filing complaints with the Delaware Bankruptcy Court seeking to recover what he contends are preferential transfers.  For those not familiar with preference actions, Bernstein contends that certain payments, or "transfers", made to creditors in the months prior to the Berkline bankruptcy are subject to avoidance and recovery pursuant to sections 547 and 550 of the Bankruptcy Code.  According to court papers filed by Bernstein, a pretrial conference is scheduled for July 9, 2013 at 10:30 a.m..
Background
Berkline and various related entities filed chapter 11 petitions for bankruptcy on May 2, 2011.  According to the Declaration of Berkline's Chief Restructuring Office (the "Decl."), Berkline was a "leading North American designer and manufacturer of upholstered and reclining furniture."  Decl. at *2. Berkline manufactured home theater seating, sofas, love seats and sectionals which were sold in furniture stores, department stores, "big box" stores and on the internet.  Two of the company's brands included the "Berkline" and "Benchcraft" lines of furniture.  Id.
Reasons for Bankruptcy



Posted 1 year 16 weeks ago

Introduction
On April 24, 2013, Synagro Technologies ("Synagro") and various affiliates filed chapter 11 petitions for bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.  Synagro recycles biosolid and organic materials generated by municipal and industrial waste water treatment centers.  The company describes its services to include "drying and pelletization, composting, incineration, alkaline stabilization, land application, collection and transportation, regulatory compliance, dewatering, facility cleanout services and product marketing."  See Synagro's Declaration in Support of Chapter 11 Petitions and First Day Pleadings (the "Decl.") at *3-4.
Operations



Posted 1 year 17 weeks ago

Introduction
On Monday, April 22, 2013, Yarway Corporation filed a chapter 11 petition for bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.  According to papers filed by Yarway with the Bankruptcy Court, the company’s origins go back to 1908 when it started manufacturing pipe clamps, steam traps and valves.  See Yarway’s Affidavit in Support of First Day Pleadings (the “Decl.”), at *1.  The company was privately owned until 1986, when it was sold to Keystone International, Inc..  Keystone was purchased by Tyco International Ltd. in 1997.  Decl. at *2
Operations
According to its Declaration, Yarway “allegedly manufactured, distributed and/or sold asbestos-containing products, which ceased entirely by 1988.”  Decl. at *2.  The company stopped its manufacturing operations entirely in 2003 when it sold its manufacturing facility to an unrelated third party.  Id.  Even after the company sold off its manufacturing assets, it remained in existence in order to “defend, process and satisfy asbestos-related claims asserted against it.”  Id. It’s these asbestos related claims which are the basis for Yarway filing for bankruptcy.
Reasons for Bankruptcy



Posted 1 year 18 weeks ago

Introduction
On Monday, April 22, 2013, Yarway Corporation filed a chapter 11 petition for bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.  According to papers filed by Yarway with the Bankruptcy Court, the company's origins go back to 1908 when it started manufacturing pipe clamps, steam traps and valves.  See Yarway's Affidavit in Support of First Day Pleadings (the "Decl."), at *1.  The company was privately owned until 1986, when it was sold to Keystone International, Inc..  Keystone was purchased by Tyco International Ltd. in 1997.  Decl. at *2
Operations
According to its Declaration, Yarway "allegedly manufactured, distributed and/or sold asbestos-containing products, which ceased entirely by 1988."  Decl. at *2.  The company stopped its manufacturing operations entirely in 2003 when it sold its manufacturing facility to an unrelated third party.  Id.  Even after the company sold off its manufacturing assets, it remained in existence in order to "defend, process and satisfy asbestos-related claims asserted against it."  Id. It's these asbestos related claims which are the basis for Yarway filing for bankruptcy. 
Reasons for Bankruptcy



Posted 1 year 18 weeks ago

Introduction
On Monday, April 15, 2013 (the "Petition Date"), The Scooter Store Holdings, Inc. (the "Scooter Store" or "Debtor"), and various related entities filed chapter 11 petitions for bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.  Based in New Braunfels, Texas, Scooter Store is one of the nation's largest providers of power wheelchairs, scooters, lifts, ramps and other related equipment.  See Declaration in Support of Chapter 11 Petitions and First Day Motions (the "Decl.") at *3.  Scooter Store began its operations in 1991.  Since then, the company has served over 700,000 senior citizens and disabled persons through its equipment offerings and services.  Id.
Company Operations and Debt Structure
At the height of its operations, Scooter Store employed over 2,400 employees in 48 locations throughout the United States.  As of the Petition Date, however, the company had reduced its employees down to 300.  Decl. at *4.  In 2011, Sun Capital Partners purchased a majority voting interest in the company.  Sun owns debts, preferred stock and warrants that represent over 66% of the voting ownership interest in the company.  Decl. at *4-5. The company's debt includes a first lien loan agreement for $25 million, a second lien facility for $25 million and a third lien facility totaling $40 million.  Decl. at *6.
Events Leading to Bankruptcy



Posted 1 year 19 weeks ago