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New case on qualifying for Subchapter V in bankruptcy

In 2020, the Small Business Reorganization Act (SBRA) added Subchapter V to Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Act, which changes or eliminates some of the Chapter 11 requirements, making it more debtor-friendly.

Albaad USA, Inc. v. GPMI, Co. (In re GPMI, Co.)

The debtor was a manufacturer of wet wipe cleaning products. It contracted with a new customer to manufacture wipes for the customer in the U.S. and to sell such wipes to the new customer. The customer failed to obtain EPA and state-level product registrations and refused to purchase manufactured wipes or to honor its commitments regarding loans to the debtor for new equipment leases and other costs to expand the debtor’s facilities to meet the demands of the contracts. The debtor ultimately filed for bankruptcy and delivered a Chapter 11 plan that included selling its assets. The Bankruptcy Court approved the plan. The creditor appealed the approval of the plan, but the appeals panel affirmed.

Bankruptcy Appeals Panel Affirms Confirmation of Chapter 11 Plan Despite Objection of Largest Unsecured Creditor

The debtor was a manufacturer of wet wipe cleaning products. It contracted with a new customer to manufacture wipes for the customer in the U.S. and to sell such wipes to the new customer. The customer failed to obtain EPA and state-level product registrations and refused to purchase manufactured wipes or to honor its commitments regarding loans to the debtor for new equipment leases and other costs to expand the debtor’s facilities to meet the demands of the contracts. The debtor ultimately filed for bankruptcy and delivered a Chapter 11 plan that included selling its assets. The Bankruptcy Court approved the plan. The creditor appealed the approval of the plan, but the appeals panel affirmed.

In re Hillman

The Bankruptcy Court decided and ordered on the issue of whether the debtor qualified as a “small business debtor” under subchapter V of Chapter 11. The court decided that, as of the petition date, the debtor was engaged in commercial or business activity in both of its business activities. The debtor met her burden of proof as qualifying under Subchapter V of Chapter 11.

Bankruptcy Court Decides on Debtor Qualification as a ‘Small Business’ Under Chapter 11

The Bankruptcy Court decided and ordered on the issue of whether the debtor qualified as a “small business debtor” under subchapter V of Chapter 11. The court decided that, as of the petition date, the debtor was engaged in commercial or business activity in both of its business activities. The debtor met her burden of proof as qualifying under Subchapter V of Chapter 11.

In re Ascena Retail Grp., Inc. Sec. Litig.

In this securities putative class action litigation, plaintiff shareholders alleged that the defendants (Ascena) misrepresented the value of Ascena’s goodwill and trade names in order to inflate Ascena’s stock price artificially. In June 2017, Ascena announced an impairment charge to those assets of $1.3 billion “causing Ascena's already-declining share price to fall precipitously. Ascena ultimately declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July 2020.” The defendants moved to dismiss for failure to plead material misrepresentation or scienter or both. The court granted the motion to dismiss but allowed the plaintiffs to amend their complaint.

New Jersey U.S. District Court Dismisses Plaintiffs’ Complaint That Public Company Defendant Overvalued Its Goodwill

In this securities putative class action litigation, plaintiff shareholders alleged that the defendants (Ascena) misrepresented the value of Ascena’s goodwill and trade names in order to inflate Ascena’s stock price artificially. In June 2017, Ascena announced an impairment charge to those assets of $1.3 billion “causing Ascena's already-declining share price to fall precipitously. Ascena ultimately declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July 2020.” The defendants moved to dismiss for failure to plead material misrepresentation or scienter or both. The court granted the motion to dismiss but allowed the plaintiffs to amend their complaint.

Small Business, Bankruptcy and Business Valuation

The Small Business Restructuring Act makes Chapter 11 reorganization proceedings faster, cheaper and more efficient for companies that come to Bankruptcy Court with debts below the statutory cap. That may allow certain small business to survive the current turmoil resulting from the corona virus pandemic. What is, however, not yet clear is the role of business valuators in the process. Michael Pakter explains what that role might be.

In re Body Transit

Court finds creditor’s interest in debtor’s property is “inconsequential” and says a valuation of debtor’s fitness club must account for dismal state of fitness industry due to COVID-19 shutdown; debtor’s projections related to reorganization plan are too optimistic given economic uncertainty.

Court Finds Valuation of Debtor Entity Must Account for COVID-19 Effect on Industry

Court finds creditor’s interest in debtor’s property is “inconsequential” and says a valuation of debtor’s fitness club must account for dismal state of fitness industry due to COVID-19 shutdown; debtor’s projections related to reorganization plan are too optimistic given economic uncertainty.

In Allocation Dispute Related to § 363 Sale, Bankruptcy Court Bridges Experts’ Value Gaps

Bankruptcy court performs allocation analysis to divide proceeds from section 363 asset sale between two competing lenders, finding debtor’s intellectual property is most valuable asset; court notes that, at time of sale, debtor was neither healthy going concern nor subject of forced liquidation.

In re Aerogroup International, Inc.

Bankruptcy court performs allocation analysis to divide proceeds from section 363 asset sale between two competing lenders, finding debtor’s intellectual property is most valuable asset; court notes that, at time of sale, debtor was neither healthy going concern nor subject of forced liquidation.

‘Dramatic’ Valuation Adjustment Justifies Equity Committee

In a rare nod to shareholder concerns, Bankruptcy Court approves formation of equity committee based on “dramatic adjustment in valuation” and inconsistent management positions as to financial health of debtors pre-Chapter 11 and post-petition filing.

Debtors’ Balance Sheet Not Reliable Indicator of Assets’ Market Value

Court says debtors “appear to be hopelessly insolvent” and rejects shareholders’ call for equity committee; debtors’ prepetition published financials are not “dependable evidence” of assets’ fair market value, even if investors relied on balance sheets.

Daubert tests reliability of testimony, not power of persuasion

The plaintiff, representing the debtor enterprises, sued executives of related family-run consumer lending and retail businesses that had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy over allegedly fraudulent transfers.

Debtors’ Balance Sheet Not Reliable Indicator of Assets’ Market Value

Court says debtors “appear to be hopelessly insolvent” and rejects shareholders’ call for equity committee; debtors’ prepetition published financials are not “dependable evidence” of assets’ fair market value, even if investors relied on balance sheets.

In re Sunedison, Inc.

Court says debtors “appear to be hopelessly insolvent” and rejects shareholders’ call for equity committee; debtors’ prepetition published financials are not “dependable evidence” of assets’ fair market value, even if investors relied on balance sheets.

‘Dramatic’ Valuation Adjustment Justifies Equity Committee

In a rare nod to shareholder concerns, Bankruptcy Court approves formation of equity committee based on “dramatic adjustment in valuation” and inconsistent management positions as to financial health of debtors pre-Chapter 11 and post-petition filing.

In re Horsehead Holding Corp.

In a rare nod to shareholder concerns, Bankruptcy Court approves formation of equity committee based on “dramatic adjustment in valuation” and inconsistent management positions as to financial health of debtors pre-Chapter 11 and post-petition filing.

Industry Characteristics Bolster Reliance on Net Asset Value

In fight over plan confirmation, court finds nature of industry supports debtors’ reliance on net asset value approach to value Chapter 11 dry bulk shipper but not to the exclusion of more traditional methods; however, court rejects use of DCF.

Regulatory Issue Causes Bankruptcy Valuation to Falter

Court praises debtors’ expert valuation of wireless venture’s spectrum but says the determination improperly assumes FCC license approval where the agency’s decision is uncertain; lacking reliable asset value, court rejects reorganization plan.

In re: LightSquared Inc.

FOR PUBLICATION UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK ) In re: ) Chapter 11 ) LIGHTSQUARED INC., et al., ) Case No. 12-12080 (SCC) ) Debtors. ) Jointly Administered ) ) DECISION DENYING CONFIRMATION OF DEBTORS’ THIRD AMENDED JOINT PLAN PURSUANT TO CHAPTER 11 OF BANKRUPTCY CODE 12-12080-scc Doc 1631-1 Filed 07/11/14 Entered 07/11/14 15:10:57 Main Document Pg 1 of 73 1 A P P E A R A N C E ...

In re Genco Shipping & Trading Ltd.

In fight over plan confirmation, court finds nature of industry supports debtors’ reliance on net asset value approach to value Chapter 11 dry bulk shipper but not to the exclusion of more traditional methods; however, court rejects use of DCF.

Plan Confirmation Hinges on Property Valuation

The Bankruptcy Court finds the debtor’s reorganization plan is not feasible because it fails to provide enough funds to pay in full the primary creditor’s secured claim; the plan rested on an improperly low valuation of the property that makes up the majo ...

Bankruptcy Court Wary of Asset Approach in Solvency Analysis

Bankruptcy Court values Chapter 11 debtor on a going concern basis and finds the income approach is best suited to determine solvency at the time of critical financial transactions; the defendants’ expert properly relied on a contemporaneous Goldman Sachs ...

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