All items from WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

Transparency and bankruptcy go hand in hand, but the bankruptcy judge overseeing a closely watched asbestos case has taken an unusual step to keep certain details shielded from public view.
Last month, unredacted transcripts from confidential court proceedings in the bankruptcy case of Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC were inadvertently made available to the public online. Once staff of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Charlotte, N.C., realized this, the transcripts were yanked from the court docket and replaced with their redacted versions.
But that’s not all. This week, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge George R. Hodges issued an order directing those who downloaded the unredacted transcripts to not only destroy the documents, including all hard and electronic copies, but to also provide the court with written certification that they’ve done so.
Gregg Leslie, the legal defense director for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, said he’s aware of prior court cases where confidential information has accidentally been made public but has never seen a court demand that any members of the public destroy information that they lawfully obtained from the court.
“You certainly understand why courts want to correct an error… but they can’t tell people to unlearn something that they’ve learned form a court record,” Mr. Leslie said told Bankruptcy Beat Wednesday.



Posted 1 week 1 day ago

The bankrupt city of Detroit is in advanced talks with some bond insurers to strike a deal as early as Wednesday in efforts to build more momentum for its plan of reorganization, the Wall Street Journal reports.
American Airlines Group Inc. distributed the last big chunk of its payout to its bankrupt predecessor’s shareholders, delivering them a windfall that was even more enormous than previously expected, via WSJ.
James River Coal is considering selling its assets during its Chapter 11 restructuring. Read Daily Bankruptcy Review’s story here.
(Daily Bankruptcy Review is a daily newsletter with comprehensive coverage and analysis of emerging and in-progress insolvencies and turnarounds. For a two-week trial, visit our homepage, scroll to the bottom and click “try for free.”)



Posted 1 week 1 day ago

Calumet Photographic Inc., the photography retail chain whose abrupt shuttering and bankruptcy filing surprised customers, has found a buyer for some of its assets.
According to court papers filed Monday in Calumet’s bankruptcy case, CalPhotoUS LLC—a new company formed by Calumet’s former principals—is offering $2.825 million to acquire inventory, store leases and other assets.
The inventory and leases are for former Calumet stores in such cities as Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. CalPhoto would also take responsibility for any liabilities related to the leases as well as the stores’ former employees and customers.
Calumet, which sold high-end photography and video equipment, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation on March 12 with plans to close all of its 14 U.S. stores. Its European stores will remain open.
Chapter 7 trustee Catherine Steege, an attorney with Jenner & Block, urged the Chicago bankruptcy court to approve the sale at an April 29 hearing.
Calumet is due in bankruptcy court Wednesday for a hearing on such proposals as its request to hire a consultant to help it find buyers for its remaining store leases and other assets.
Write to Jacqueline Palank at jacqueline.palank@wsj.com. Follow her on Twitter at @PalankJ.
 



Posted 1 week 2 days ago

Puerto Rico’s finance arm hired restructuring lawyers at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, as the troubled island battles a weak economy and perpetual budget deficits, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Appalachian coal miner James River Coal Co. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday as it continues its search for a buyer or investor. Read the Daily Bankruptcy Review story via WSJ.
(Daily Bankruptcy Review is a daily newsletter with comprehensive coverage and analysis of emerging and in-progress insolvencies and turnarounds. For a two-week trial, visit our homepage, scroll to the bottom and click “try for free.”)
Coldwater Creek Inc. is planning to liquidate its assets after a bankruptcy filing that may come as soon as today, Bloomberg reports.



Posted 1 week 2 days ago

Dish Network Corp. Chairman Charlie Ergen on Friday sued LightSquared controlling shareholder Philip Falcone, over his handling of the wireless venture’s bankruptcy case. Read the Daily Bankruptcy Review Story via WSJ.
(Daily Bankruptcy Review is a daily newsletter with comprehensive coverage and analysis of emerging and in-progress insolvencies and turnarounds. For a two-week trial, visit our homepage, scroll to the bottom and click “try for free.”)
The Wall Street Journal reports in depth on the billions dollar Anadarko settlement and the decades of contamination.



Posted 1 week 3 days ago

A group of lawyers and marketing professionals had a tough nut to crack: how drum up interest in an abandoned power plant in Hawaii that can turn macadamia shells into energy.
The lawyers are hoping that a multimillion-dollar offer comes in before today’s bid deadline after months of looking for someone who might want the plant.
The facility, which ran out of money before it could fully go into operation, was designed  to make a carbon product that can, for example, fill the inside of hybrid car batteries. The carbon product can be used to make a filter—like the one attached to a kitchen faucet—that chemical and pharmaceutical companies use.
The plant has, at various times, attracted interest from entrepreneurs, hedge funds, major chemical companies and universities with biofuel programs, said Jeffrey Testa, a lawyer at McCarter & English law firm who has helped with the sales process. (The plant, shown here, can make a biofuel that can help power its own operations.)
The team even reached out to big candy makers—the kind that might have a couple tons of macadamia nut shells lying around—to see if they wanted a way “to turn waste product into a revenue source,” he said.
The project’s original developer, backed by a Boston private equity firm, put the facility into bankruptcy in November 2012, leading Mr. Testa’s firm and others to look for buyers.



Posted 1 week 6 days ago

Bloomberg

Brookstone employees hoping to snag an air hockey table, arcade game or their very own drone could get some extra cash for a shopping spree if the retailer’s bankruptcy case goes well.
The employees, including several executives, stand to earn some $2 million in bonuses during the specialty retailer’s bankruptcy case.



Posted 1 week 6 days ago

The city’s emergency manager said in federal court Thursday that he is hoping to usher Detroit out of municipal bankruptcy by mid-October, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Youth-oriented streetwear brand Ecko Unltd. sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, citing the “fickle” tastes of its target audience and the economic downturn as prime causes of the company’s waning sales. Read Daily Bankruptcy Review’s article via WSJ.
 (Daily Bankruptcy Review is a daily newsletter with comprehensive coverage and analysis of emerging and in-progress insolvencies and turnarounds. For a two-week trial, visit our homepage, scroll to the bottom and click “try for free.”)



Posted 1 week 6 days ago

Brookstone Holdings Corp., the specialty retailer famous for massage chairs and travel electronics, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Thursday with a plan to sell its business to the owner of Spencer’s for $147 million. Read the Daily Bankruptcy Review article via The Wall Street Journal.
(Daily Bankruptcy Review is a daily newsletter with comprehensive coverage and analysis of emerging and in-progress insolvencies and turnarounds. For a two-week trial, visit our homepage, scroll to the bottom and click “try for free.”)
Detroit’s going to borrow $120 million to combat crime after a judge approved the bankrupt city’s first fundraising since its Chapter 9 filing, WSJ reports.
Former MF Global customers will soon get everything they’re owed, WSJ reports.



Posted 2 weeks 10 hours ago

Investors who own the storied Hawk ‘n’ Dove bar and other Capitol Hill eating spots owe more than $9 million to D.C. restaurateur Xavier Cervera and his partners who sold the restaurants to them in late 2012.
During a hearing held Wednesday afternoon at the Washington, D.C., bankruptcy court, lawyers for restaurant owner Barrack’s Row Entertainment said Chapter 11 would protect the company while its leaders negotiate to lower the debt owed to the former owners.
Mr. Cervera and other investors who sold the restaurants agreed to be paid over time, and the next payment came due on April 1. The company’s lawyer told Bankruptcy Judge S. Martin Teel Jr. that the sellers could have “taken back their membership interests” in the restaurants once the new owners missed a payment. Friday’s Chapter 11 filing prevents the former owners from doing that.
During the hearing, Judge Teel gave the company permission to continue paying its roughly 200 workers.
Mr. Cervera’s brother, Richard Cervera, who is now the restaurants’ chief executive, attended the 20-minute hearing but wasn’t asked to speak. He declined to explain to The Wall Street Journal after the hearing what financial hardship the restaurants may be facing. The company’s press release announcing the bankruptcy stated broadly that “margins have declined significantly” since August.



Posted 2 weeks 1 day ago