All items from WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

Bloomberg

Italian fast-food chain Sbarro LLC’s second restructuring in three years is cooking, as a bankruptcy judge granted a number of approvals Wednesday and scheduled an April 25 hearing to review its prepackaged Chapter 11 plan. 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.”)
Mexican home builder Corporación Geo SAB is preparing to file for bankruptcy protection in Mexico as early as Thursday, WSJ reports.



Posted 5 weeks 2 days ago

Security tags hang from a Sequoia Voting Systems machine at a polling station in Chicago on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012.
Daniel Acker/Bloomberg News

The voting machine maker that was partly blamed for Florida’s infamous hanging chads in 2000 was taken over by a competitor years ago, but the lawyers who are handling the company’s unfinished business are suing its new owner for money.
Lawyers in charge of Sequoia Voting Systems Inc., now basically a litigation vehicle, are accusing Dominion Voting Systems Inc. of paying too little for Sequoia Voting’s operations in 2010. The dispute led Sequoia Voting to file for bankruptcy last month as its lawyers push Denver-based Dominion Voting for money.
But back to hanging chads: Sequoia Voting sent punch-card ballots to parts of Florida for the 2000 presidential election, when some machines left behind stuck or hanging chads and led some ballots to be thrown out, according to press reports.



Posted 5 weeks 3 days ago

Dish Network Corp. was interested in LightSquared as early as 2012, far earlier than Chairman Charlie Ergen previously said, lawyers for LightSquared said Monday. 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.”)
Edison Mission Energy won court approval of a plan to exit Chapter 11 protection via its $2.6 billion sale to NRG Energy Inc. Read the DBR article via WSJ.
General Motors Co.’s stock tumbled on Tuesday amid new investigations into an ignition-switch recall, WSJ reports.



Posted 5 weeks 3 days ago

The human toll of bankruptcy is always on George Mesires’s mind.
Mr. Mesires, who recently joined Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, began his restructuring career more than a decade ago. He was general counsel of a startup telecommunications company in upstate New York when the telecom bubble burst. As the company looked for a buyer, he had to work to preserve as many jobs as possible.
“We maintained a substantial number of jobs and it was great for the community—the company is still in business,” he said.
Not only did the experience introduce Mr. Mesires to restructuring, it also connected him with the attorney who suggested that Mr. Mesires leave post 9/11 New York for Chicago. He has since worked at several Windy City law firms. He joins Faegre from Ungaretti & Harris LLP, where he was co-chair of the finance and restructuring group.



Posted 5 weeks 4 days ago

Bankruptcy Beat readers, meet The Examiners.
We’re launching a new recurring feature on the blog where we’ll pose a monthly restructuring question to a panel of restructuring experts. Like their namesake, our Examiners—a great group of top restructuring lawyers, financial advisers, investment bankers, investors and law professors—will examine timely topics and share their insight, bringing light to complex and important issues.
Over the coming months, we’ll also encourage you, our readers, to weigh in and share your views as well. We want to launch a thought-provoking conversation, and we hope you’ll join in.
Read on to meet The Examiners and the first question they’ll tackle. And check back later this month as we start posting their answers.
Question: Interest rates that remain near zero and debt maturities that have been pushed out to 2017 and 2018 have helped drive Chapter 11 filings to historic lows. Has this difficult environment put corporate restructuring on life support?



Posted 5 weeks 4 days ago

Plus-size women’s clothing retailer Ashley Stewart Holdings Inc. filed for Chapter 11 on Monday, tracing its decline to a slow economy and Hurricane Sandy. Read 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.”)
Soap opera producer Prospect Park Networks LLC filed for bankruptcy and plans to wind down, Bloomberg reports.
Also according to Bloomberg, Energy Future Holdings Corp. is talking to creditors in a last-minute plan to ease its bankruptcy.



Posted 5 weeks 4 days ago

Bitcoin trader Mt. Gox, which is in bankruptcy in Japan, filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Read the Daily Bankruptcy Review article here.
Pizza chain Sbarro filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection again. Click here for the DBR article.
(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.”)
Medical services company M*Modal is readying to file for a prearranged bankruptcy, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Bloomberg reports on the donations given to alleged bitcoin creator Dorian S. Nakamato.



Posted 5 weeks 5 days ago

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Elizabeth L. Perris plans to retire after 30 years on the Oregon bench.
Judge Perris, 62, who is known for mediating disputes in Detroit’s bankruptcy and for other financially struggling cities, plans to retire in January. She’ll use the extra time to continue mediation work, travel and “not [have] to be on 6 a.m. conference calls,” according to a statement from her chambers.
Judge Perris handled the bankruptcy of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland in 2004, the first of about a dozen bankruptcies that dioceses around the country have filed to deal with sexual abuse claims.
Soon after taking the bench in 1984, Judge Perris presided over the successful turnaround of steel pipe-welder Northwest Pipe & Casing Co. (now called Northwest Pipe Co.).
Another case involved Microsoft Corp. co-founder Paul Allen and lenders, whose feuding led the operator of the Rose Garden arena to file for bankruptcy. The arena, renamed the Moda Center, is home to the Portland Trailblazers basketball team.
Outside of Oregon, Judge Perris was picked to mediate disputes in Detroit’s historic bankruptcy. She handled mediation for three California cities—Vallejo, Mammoth Lakes and Stockton—that have filed for Chapter 9 protection.



Posted 6 weeks 1 day ago

This week on The Broke and the Beautiful, Teresa and Joe Giudice plead guilty to fraud, and Armand Assante wants to save his house from auction. Also, Mel Gibson’s ex filed a debt-payment plan.



Posted 6 weeks 1 day ago

Lawyers for ComputerLand Corp. founder William Millard, now a Cayman Islands resident in his 80s, could interview the leader of the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands as part of Mr. Millard’s challenge of a tax bill of more than $100 million.
In court papers, Mr. Millard’s bankruptcy lawyer called Governor Eloy S. Inos an “important witness” in the process of figuring out the history of Mr. Millard’s 1987 tax bill for more than $118 million. That bill led Mr. Millard and his wife to file for bankruptcy last year.
Since the bankruptcy case began, Mr. Millard has proclaimed that he’s not an elusive tax fugitive but a victim of a decades-old vendetta political vendetta driven by the Pacific island chain’s lawmakers.
Mr. Inos, who is up for re-election in November, was the island’s finance director in 1993, Mr. Millard’s lawyer said. A year later, the island won a tax judgment against Mr. Millard and his wife, Patricia, for $36 million, although tax officials didn’t try to collect that money right away, according to court papers filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan.



Posted 6 weeks 1 day ago