Barclays Bank has appointed Law of Property Act receivers on five assets owned by Altrincham-based development and investment firm Property Route Ltd, Crain’s Manchester Business reported. The bank has called in charges over five of the company's properties and has appointed the Leeds office of Eddisons as LPA receiver on each. The properties in question are 23 Denison Road and 7 Conningham Road in Victoria Park, Manchester; 35 Canal Bank in Monton, Salford; 108 Ayres Road in Old Trafford and 105 Wilmslow Road in Handforth, Cheshire. The appointments were made on December 24 and Property Route later changed its name to PRGA Ltd on January 15. The resignations of two of the company's directors, Nabeel Chowdery and Matthew Billington, were logged by Companies House on December 23, although Chowdery told Crain's that he actually resigned from the board in June 2008 and sold his stake in company to Billington. Chowdery is a well-known figure in the Greater Manchester property scene and was ranked 562 on The Sunday Times Rich List in 2008, with an estimated net worth of £142 million. He is a director of more than 20 companies and recently completed a deal to sell Denzell Lodge, a residential scheme in Bowdon, Cheshire, for £1.2 million. Read more.
Daily Insolvency News Headlines
Mon., February 2, 2009
Foreign investors will try to avoid unsophisticated civil courts imposing antique bankruptcy statutes and cross-border investors will negotiate out-of-court agreements with Latin American companies in 2009 to avoid local courts, International Financial Law Review reported. While the credit freeze has not hit Latin America as hard as the US or Europe, due to its related investment in US mortgages, Latin American lawyers are bracing for a series of cross-continent insolvency negotiations between foreign banks and local companies. The methods used will depend on which government the investors are dealing with. But ultimately out-of-court settlements will be more beneficial than risking judgement from a civil court with political considerations such as jobs and local economies.
Read more. (Subscription required.)
Lawyers saw a significant jump in insolvency, litigation and debt and corporate restructuring activities during the fourth quarter of last year--but they feel this may be just the tip of the iceberg, The Straits Times reported. With the worsening economic climate, recent months have seen law firms busy with the financing woes at listed companies, such as Chinese steel coil-maker FerroChina, China Printing & Dyeing, Jurong Technologies and electronics retailer TT International. Going into the second half of this year, more firms and bigger players are expected to buckle as cash-flow problems follow a rise in the rate of defaulted payments. So far, insolvency and restructuring cases have been confined to small and medium-sized enterprises and smaller firms that are listed. But some analysts are even expecting non-performing loans for banks to double from 1.5 per cent to 3 per cent by next year. According to the head of the corporate and merger and acquisition (M&A) practice at WongPartnership, both creditors and companies do not favour the liquidation route because in current market conditions, selling off distressed assets will fetch only a pittance. Still, there may be no choice as the financial crisis deepens and fresh funding from investors and banks is thin on the ground. Read more.
The owner of Manila-based Legacy Consolidated Plans sold his P57-million worth of property in Ayala Alabang a week before he declared his company’s bankruptcy, GMA News reported. During the Senate hearing on the impending collapse of the pre-need industry Monday, Celso delos Angeles admitted that the 3,013-square meter lot was sold on December 2, 2008. He said his wife, to whom he has been separated since 2002, was involved in the transaction. Delos Angeles, a mayor of Sto Domingo town in Albay, said he advised the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of his company's bankruptcy on December 8. The senators, however, were not convinced. Senator Rodolfo Biazon said during the hearing that this could be a way for Delos Angeles to bail out his properties before the bankruptcy declaration. Senator Manuel Roxas II, for his part, said the disposition of the property could be done in preparation for the declaration of bankruptcy. In an interview after the hearing, Roxas said the SEC can move for the freezing of the properties of bankrupt pre-need companies on its own. Read more.
A Court of Queen's Bench judge has rejected an attempt by Wireless Age Communications Inc. to overturn SaskTel's move to put two of its subsidiaries into receivership, The Regina Leader-Post reported. Justice Maurice Herauf rejected Wireless Age's request that the two companies "should be left to solve the debt situation themselves without the intervention of the court.'' Herauf said it was "pie-in-the-sky'' for the Wireless Age companies to "even imagine that they can salvage their relationship with SaskTel,'' noting the companies have been negotiating for months and SaskTel indicated its intention to "terminate the relationship." The judge's ruling also noted that the receiver reported "serious cash-flow problems, serious inventory problems and massive payments to parent companies" by the Wireless Age subsidiaries. He also agreed with the receiver that both Wireless Age and Wireless Source are "insolvent and would not be able to carry on their current operations'' if the receivership order was set aside. Herauf ruled that receivership provides "the only hope for the business operations of Wireless Age and Wireless Source to continue with the retention of the current staff.'' Wireless Age operates four cellphone dealerships in Manitoba and five in Saskatchewan including three in Regina and two in Saskatoon, and employs about 100 people. Read more.
A spokeswoman for Clifford Chance confirmed a Law.com report that the firm had lost about 20 percent of the lawyers from its Moscow office through layoffs and natural attrition, Bankruptcy Law360 reported. “It's a continuing situation that has been under review for several months now,” spokeswoman Anne Groves said. The news broke just a couple of weeks after the firm announced a redundancy program that could lead to job losses for up to 80 additional attorneys in London. “This is resource and head-count management over a long period of time, which is completely different from the redundancy program in London that covers all practices,” Groves said of the Moscow situation. She added that, with 150 attorneys, Clifford Chance is still the largest law firm in Russia. “It's one of our most profitable offices in our international network,” Groves said. More and more firms have announced layoffs recently as the economic downturn intensifies. Read more. (Subscription required.)