All items from WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

The paper mill in Millinocket, Maine, which closed in 2008.
Associated Press

The closure of Great Northern Paper Co.’s paper mill in Maine and subsequent bankruptcy of the company has become a campaign issue in the state’s race for governor, with a lagging gubernatorial hopeful trying to bring into the race the state money provided to the paper producer’s owner Cate Street Capital.
“Before the state of Maine goes the way of the Great Northern Paper Company, we need new management,” independent candidate Eliot Cutler said at a news conference last week.
The original Great Northern Paper Co., once a giant of New England’s pulp and paper industry, traces its roots to the beginning of the 20th century, when it began manufacturing newsprint. The company boomed in the mid-1900s but has changed hands several times recently, landing Cate Street Capital as its owner in 2011.
Cate Street purchased mills in Millinocket and East Millinocket, both shuttered at the time, for $1 and reopened the East Millinocket mill. Earlier this year, that mill was also closed and the company was placed in Chapter 7 bankruptcy last month.



Posted 1 week 5 days ago

Puerto Rico’s Prepa utility has until mid-December to come up with a new business plan and early March to propose a debt-restructuring plan. What should these plans consider?
The successful restructuring of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority will be critical to the island’s overall economic recovery. Prepa’s mountainous $9 billion debt represents 12% of Puerto Rico’s overall debt load. The recent appointment of a chief restructuring officer, fellow Examiner Lisa Donahue of AlixPartners, is an important first step for the utility, which has been plagued by years of mismanagement and waste. The implementation of Prepa’s restructuring plan will be challenging, and success depends on gaining the approval of Gov. Alejandro García Padilla’s embattled administration, nervous bondholders and UTIER, Prepa’s main labor union.



Posted 1 week 5 days ago

Puerto Rico’s Prepa utility has until mid-December to come up with a new business plan and early March to propose a debt-restructuring plan. What should these plans consider?
The turnaround plan for Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, or Prepa, will have to address many unique circumstances not present in more traditional aspects of a turnaround or restructuring, as well as those which are more universal.
Prepa’s unique circumstances include:



Posted 1 week 5 days ago

Associated Press

The union for some 1,140 workers at Atlantic City, N.J.’s Trump Taj Mahal casino who are rallying to save their health-care and pension benefits are now fighting in two places: in the courtroom and on the streets. The Wall Street Journal has the Daily Bankruptcy Review article 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.”)
The abrupt bankruptcy filing by GT Advanced Technologies Inc. earlier this week stunned investors, creditors and partners including Apple Inc., which backed the materials maker for its massive bet on sapphire screen technology, DBR reports via WSJ.



Posted 1 week 5 days ago

GT Advanced Technologies , the sapphire supplier that filed for bankruptcy protection Monday, wants to keep what went wrong between it and Apple Inc. behind closed doors.
Why?
According to GT, there’s a risk it will have to pay $50 million damages “under certain confidentiality agreements involving a third party, which agreements themselves are required to be kept confidential.”
Read the motion here.
It was filed in the early morning hours Thursday, as GT Advanced prepares for its first appearance before a judge in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New Hampshire.



Posted 1 week 5 days ago

In yet another sign of the pressures facing law schools, Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School—which is among the largest in the country by number of students—is shutting down its campus in Ann Arbor, Mich.
The move follows the announcement this summer that Cooley planned to halt first-year enrollment at Ann Arbor, the smallest of its five campuses. The school also said it would cut faculty and staff as part of a financial management plan intended to slash expenses and “right size the organization.”
According to a statement on Cooley’s web site, students have been notified of the planned shutdown, which is subject to the approval of “teach-out plans” submitted to its accrediting agencies, the Higher Learning Commission and American Bar Association:



Posted 1 week 6 days ago

A model presents a creation by the Rena Lange fashion label during the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Berlin in July 2011.
EPA/Britta Pedersen

German fashion house Rena Lange, whose cashmere cardigans and sheath dresses can be found at Neiman Marcus, put its U.S. arm into Chapter 11 bankruptcy this week.
As Daily Bankruptcy Review reported, Rena Lange (USA) Inc.’s Chapter 11 filing comes nearly a month after its parent filed for insolvency in Munich. Citing sources close to the company, Women’s Wear Daily said (sub. req.) the parent faced liquidity issues as it tried to expand.



Posted 1 week 6 days ago

Puerto Rico’s Prepa utility has until mid-December to come up with a new business plan and early March to propose a debt-restructuring plan. What should these plans consider?
While Puerto Rico’s Prepa utility struck a deal to fend off key creditors for a few months, it has far from solved its financial woes. Prepa—headed by its new chief restructuring officer—has several months to come up with a five-year turnaround plan to rebuild its business model and a plan to restructure $9 billion in total debt. Puerto Rico’s weak economy, 14.1% unemployment rate and $73 billion in debt make a restructuring particularly challenging. A turnaround plan for a distressed utility within the even more economically troubled commonwealth of Puerto Rico faces operational, fiscal and political hurdles.



Posted 1 week 6 days ago

Puerto Rico’s Prepa utility has until mid-December to come up with a new business plan and early March to propose a debt-restructuring plan. What should these plans consider?
The success of any turnaround plan will depend on its ability to achieve two equally important objectives: to restore fiscal stability and to position the business for long-term prosperity. Some of the tough decisions required may cause some short-term discomfort and won’t be popular, but by being transparent and articulating a clear vision forward, all of the various constituents can begin to unify around a common goal.



Posted 1 week 6 days ago

Associated Press

Atlantic City, N.J.’s Revel Casino will be sold to private-equity firm Brookfield Capital Partners LP for $110 million, a U.S. judge decided, rejecting Florida real-estate developer Glenn Straub’s arguments he didn’t get a chance to top the bid. The Wall Street Journal has the Daily Bankruptcy Review article 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.”)
A bankruptcy judge Tuesday approved a plan to pay off creditors of Chicago’s Spire, a 150-story condominium tower that has languished during the downturn, and hands the project over to a new investor who hopes to get it off the ground, DBR reports via WSJ.



Posted 1 week 6 days ago