Chapter 15 Headlines

Not many would have given Luckin Coffee a chance to survive its accounting fraud, yet since falling into provisional liquidation in July 2020, the firm has opened more stores, is getting a capital injection to repay creditors and is looking to exit chapter 15 bankruptcy protection, the South China Morning Post reported. On Tuesday, the Chinese Starbucks wannabe set another milestone by inking restructuring terms that could make bondholders almost whole and settle U.S. class-action lawsuits.

A Cayman Island mutual fund whose manager was charged in a $100 million bait-and-switch scheme filed for chapter 15 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. to protect its assets from lawsuits by disgruntled investors, Bloomberg News reported. Representatives of the so-called Income Collecting 1-3 Months T-Bills Mutual Fund asked a federal bankruptcy judge in New York on Friday to recognize their efforts to liquidate the company, which they said would include an attempt to pay back investors. Recognition of the foreign liquidation would put a hold on any lawsuits against the fund.
The remnants of Greensill Capital, the U.K. financing company that collapsed earlier this year, filed for chapter 15 bankruptcy in the U.S., aiming to halt litigation filed by one of its biggest clients, a coal-mining company owned by the governor of West Virginia, WSJ Pro Bankruptcy reported. Greensill’s U.S. bankruptcy filing on Wednesday seeks to halt a lawsuit brought earlier this year by coal supplier Bluestone Resources Inc. and its owners, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice and his family, according to court papers filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York.

Within the U.S., cannabis is now legal in 16 states including Washington, D.C., with legalization taking effect in two more states, Virginia and New Mexico, later this year, Mondaq reported. This state-level trend toward legalization in the U.S. continues even though cannabis remains illegal at the federal level. However, in Canada, cannabis has been legal at both the federal and provincial levels since 2018. The opening of these markets has generated significant investment on both sides of the U.S./Canadian border.

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.