Chapter 15 Headlines

Brazilian iron ore miner Samarco Mineração SA filed for U.S. bankruptcy protection Monday, after initiating similar proceedings in Brazil earlier this month amid mounting creditor litigation, WSJ Pro Bankruptcy reported. Samarco needed to seek protection under chapter 15 of the U.S. bankruptcy code, as well as Brazilian insolvency laws, after bondholders and bank lenders filed lawsuits in both countries to freeze and start the process of seizing the company’s assets, according to a sworn declaration by Chief Financial Officer Cristina Morgan Cavalcanti.
Malaysia’s high court on Wednesday granted a restraining order for three months on 15 of AirAsia X Bhd.’s creditors over the debt recast talks for the airline, Bloomberg News reported. The order, applied for by AirAsia X to address its obligations in a timely manner, gives the creditors an opportunity for amicable discussions without “extraneous considerations,” according to an exchange filing.
LATAM Airlines Group, the region’s largest airline, on Tuesday reported a loss of $962.5 million in the fourth quarter, hurt by a second wave of the pandemic which has hit Latin America particularly hard, Reuters reported. LATAM filed for bankruptcy protection last May and is still going through a court-supervised reorganization in the United States. Overall in 2020, the airline lost $4.6 billion, compared with a pre-pandemic profit of $196 million in 2019.

Embattled Chinese coffee chain Luckin Coffee Inc. filed for chapter 15 bankruptcy in New York, less than a year after the company said that more than a quarter’s worth of business may have been faked, Bloomberg News reported. The move will protect the company from lawsuits by U.S. creditors while it reorganizes in China, where it runs several thousand outlets. All its coffee shops will remain open for business and the chapter 15 petition will not materially impact the company’s day-to-day operations, according to a statement issued today.

American affiliates of Canadian restaurant business Yatsen Group sought Chapter 15 recognition in Delaware bankruptcy court, saying COVID-19 has ravaged its business and left its locations unable to pay rent, Law360 reported. Yatsen Group of Companies Inc., SAR Real Estate Inc. and 36 affiliates filed their petition late Monday, while a foreign, main case proceeds in Canada.

A unit of British restaurant chain PizzaExpress is seeking bankruptcy protection in the U.S. PizzaExpress Financing 2 Plc filed for Chapter 15 in the Southern District of Texas Court, according to filing, Bloomberg News reported. Chapter 15 shields foreign companies from lawsuits by U.S. creditors while they reorganize in another country. The iconic restaurant chain had been struggling even before the pandemic as changing dining trends reduced demand for its pizzas, and as Hony’s efforts to expand its business outside the U.K. stretched its balance sheet.

Dutch retailer Hema filed for Chapter 15 court protection in the U.S. in the latest step of a debt restructuring as the popular local firm prepares for its sale, Bloomberg News reported. Chapter 15 shields foreign companies from lawsuits by U.S. creditors while they reorganize in another country. The filing came late Wednesday, the same day that Hema’s restructuring plan received support from the vast majority of its senior-ranking bondholders in a U.K. court process.

Lenders to bankrupt Reliance Communications Ltd (RCom) and Reliance Telecom Ltd (RTL) have told the Supreme Court that spectrum is an essential and integral part of asset against which banks grant loans to telecom firms, Mint reported. This is contrary to the government’s stance that spectrum is national property and cannot be sold under insolvency proceedings.

Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd is seeking protection from creditors in the United States under Chapter 15 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, which allows a foreign debtor to shield assets in this country, according to a court filing on Tuesday, Reuters reported. Virgin Atlantic’s filing in U.S.

U.K. discount retailer Matalan will file for Chapter 15 court protection in the U.S. on Wednesday as part of broader measures to buttress its balance sheet in the aftermath of pandemic-inflicted closures, Bloomberg News reported. The company will seek “certain interim relief” under Chapter 15 and recognition for its debt restructuring in the U.K., according to a statement Tuesday. Chapter 15 of U.S. bankruptcy law shields foreign companies from lawsuits by U.S. creditors while they reorganize in another country. The retailer used a U.K. court procedure known as a scheme of arrangement.