Chapter 15 Headlines

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.

Cirque du Soleil and its secured creditors are close to reaching a agreement on a second stalking horse bid for the financially strapped entertainment group, after lenders opposed a deal with shareholders including TPG Capital and Fosun International, a Canadian court heard today, Reuters reported. Canada’s once high-flying Cirque has received protection from creditors as it restructures after the COVID-19 pandemic forced it to cancel shows and lay off artists. The Montreal-based entertainment company filed for bankruptcy in late June.

DavidsTea is seeking court protection from creditors so it can continue operating while it restructures and plans to close a significant number of its stores, the Globe and Mail reported. The Montreal-based company said today that it will seek an order in Quebec Superior Court to allow it to restructure under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act. It also plans to seek similar orders for its U.S. subsidiary under chapter 15 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

African finance ministers started talks with private creditors to find a way to temporarily suspend debt payments without triggering defaults, Bloomberg News reported. At least a dozen African finance ministers spoke during the hour-and-half virtual meeting with more than 100 creditors on Monday, according to a representative of private creditors who attended the gathering.

A panel of bankers will rule on Thursday whether some investors in Thomas Cook’s credit are due a payout under bankruptcy rules, a decision that could smooth a rescue of the world’s oldest travel company, Reuters reported. The British firm, which employs 21,000 people across 16 countries, agreed the key terms of a rescue deal with Chinese shareholder Fosun (1992.HK) last month. But it must be approved by creditors next week. Holders of Credit Default Swaps (CDS), instruments used to insure exposure to credit, are digging in for a payout for their bets against the company.

Thomas Cook Group Plc has filed for Chapter 15 court protection in the U.S. as part of a broader debt restructuring for the U.K. travel agent, Bloomberg News reported. The company’s Chapter 15 petition was filed in the Southern District of New York, court papers dated Sept. 16 show. Law firm Latham & Watkins is representing the company, according to the documents. Chapter 15 of U.S. bankruptcy law shields foreign companies from lawsuits by U.S. creditors while they reorganize in another country. The filing may also trigger the payout of default insurance on Thomas Cook debt.