Bankruptcy News

A.M. Castle & Co. Objection Filed

SAP America filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court an objection to A.M. Castle & Co.'s Plan and proposed assumption or assignment of executory contract and, alternatively, post-rejection retention of contractual benefits. The objection asserts, "Despite inquiries regarding treatment of its executory contract under the Plan, A.M. Castle and its affiliated debtors have not provided any notice to SAP as to whether its contract will be assumed, assigned, or rejected pursuant to the Plan….At this time, SAP has not consented to assumption or assignment of the Software License Agreement nor have the Debtors sought SAP's consent. A.M. Castle exceeded the scope of its authorized software use rights under the Software License Agreement. SAP will not consent to the assumption or assignment of the Software License Agreement absent the parties' resolution of that issue. Should the Debtors seek to reject the Software License Agreement, SAP does not object to rejection provided that the Debtors, upon rejection, immediately cease use of the licensed software and comply with all duties required upon termination of the agreement….The equities demand that A.M. Castle should not be permitted to use the mechanism of rejection to circumvent the contractual requirements necessary to preserve SAP's intellectual property interests while A.M. Castle continues to reap the benefits from Software post-rejection. Rather, A.M. Castle should be required to cease all use of the Software and comply with all other end-of-term duties as a condition to rejection of the License Agreement."

Hampshire Group Plan Filed

Hampshire Group and its official committee of unsecured creditors filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court a Joint Chapter 11 Plan of Liquidation and related Disclosure Statement. According to the Disclosure Statement, "The Plan contemplates the substantive consolidation of the Debtors' Estates into a single Estate for all purposes associated with Confirmation and Consummation. The Plan further provides for the establishment on the Effective Date of the Liquidation Trust for the primary purpose of administering and liquidating the Trust Assets and for the secondary purposes of, inter alia, (a) analyzing and pursuing Causes of Action; (b) resolving all Administrative Expense Claims, Professional Fee Claims, and Claims; and (c) making all Distributions provided for under the terms of the Plan. The Liquidation Trust shall be under the direction and control of the Liquidation Trustee, as trustee of the Liquidation Trust, subject to the terms of the Plan and the Liquidation Trust Agreement. On the Effective Date, all Assets of the Debtors' Estates, including, but not limited to, Causes of Action, any recoveries related to the issuance of the Bond and the related letter of credit draw, certain accounts receivable, any federal or state tax refunds, and Cash, shall vest in the Liquidation Trust….As set forth in the Committee Liquidation Analysis, the Committee estimates that recoveries for Holders of Allowed Claims in Class 2 (General Unsecured Claims) could be between 0.2% and 29% under the Plan. The Committee also believes that Holders of Allowed Claims in Class 2 (General Unsecured Claims) would receive smaller distributions in a liquidation under chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code. The Committee Liquidation Analysis provides three alternative scenarios (low, middle, and high) under each of (i) the Plan and (ii) a liquidation under chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code, based on various factors in these Chapter 11 Cases." The Court scheduled a September 13, 2017 hearing to consider the Plan, with objections due by September 6, 2017, and an August 17, 2017 hearing to consider the Disclosure Statement, with objections due by August 2, 2017.

Energy Future Holdings Objections Filed

Multiple parties - including Elliott Associates, Elliott International and The Liverpool Limited Partnership (collectively, Elliott Funds) UMB Bank and Sunrise Partners Limited Partnership - filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court separate objections to Energy Future Holdings' (EFH)/Energy Future Intermediate Holdings' (EFIH) motion for entry of an order scheduling certain hearing dates and deadlines and establishing certain protocols in connection with confirmation of the Joint Plan of Reorganization. Elliott Funds asserts, "By the Motion to Adjourn, Elliott requests that the Court temporarily delay consideration of the proposed sale transaction with Berkshire Hathaway Energy Company to provide Elliott - the Debtors' largest unsecured creditor - until early September to raise capital and equity financing commitments for a value-maximizing equitization plan. Specifically, in the Motion to Adjourn, Elliott requests that the Court adjourn the hearing on the Berkshire Merger Agreement Motion and approval of the $270 million termination fee that is currently scheduled for August 10, 2017 for 35 to 40 days. By this Objection, Elliott similarly requests that the Court deny the Debtors' request for an August 11, 2017 hearing on the disclosure statement (the 'Berkshire Disclosure Statement') with respect to the Debtors' plan of reorganization incorporating the proposed Berkshire Merger Agreement (the 'Berkshire Plan') and instead schedule the Berkshire Disclosure Statement hearing on the same day as, or a day following, the requested adjourned hearing on the Berkshire Merger Agreement Motion."

Katy Industries Workers Comp Interim Ruling Issued

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court issued an interim order approving the Missouri Department of Labor & Industrial Relations, Division of Workers' Compensation's emergency motion to compel Katy Industries' affiliated Debtor Continental Commercial Products to comply with the laws of the State of Missouri related to workers' compensation or, in the alternative, for an order dismissing this case. As previously reported, "In order for Continental to continue to operate lawfully in Missouri, the Debtor must abide by Missouri law and administer and pay any and all benefits that are deemed compensable to injured employees either based upon a reported injury or the filing of a Claim for Compensation with the Department….All self-insured employers must retain or hire a licensed by the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration or a service company that is certified by the Division. The Department has been previously informed that Continental and its TPA intend to terminate their relationship. Continental has not provided the Department with a written agreement that purportedly extends the administrator services Continental currently has with its TPA….Wherefore, the Department prays this Court enter an order compelling Continental to do the following as required by Missouri law, or, alternatively dismissing this bankruptcy case for cause pursuant to 11 U.S.C. section 1112."

DirectBuy Holdings Dismissal Approved

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court issued an order dismissing the DirectBuy Holdings' Chapter 11 case and granting related relief. The Debtor' dismissal motion previously argued, "The Debtors commenced these Chapter 11 cases to preserve their business as a going concern and maximize the value of their assets through a sale transaction. The Debtors achieved that goal and, in February, 2017, closed a sale of substantially all of their business assets. After the closing, the Debtors, Committee and Pre-Petition Secured Parties entered into a settlement that enabled the Debtors to pay administrative expense claims not assumed in connection with the sale and otherwise administer these Chapter 11 cases. That settlement positioned the Debtors to exit from Chapter 11. As this juncture, the Debtors and the Committee have discussed the most efficient way to conclude the Chapter 11 Cases. After carefully considering the alternatives, and given the completion of the sale and the lack of any remaining assets to monetize, the Debtors have decided that dismissal is the most effective way to proceed as they are unable to propose and confirm a plan. In any event, confirmation of a plan of liquidation will take too long, be too expensive and substantially increase administrative costs. Conversion of these cases to Chapter 7 merely will add another layer of administrative expenses without any benefit to the Debtor's unsecured creditors. Based on these circumstances, dismissal makes the most practical and economic sense." This housewares' retailer filed for Chapter 11 protection on November 1, 2016, listing $29 million in pre-petition assets.

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