It is not surprising that within an economic outlook which seems permanently set to "gloomy" many companies are having to think about reorganising their operations or restructuring their holding structures This article highlights some of the tax and other considerations which must be borne in mind when considering such reorganisations or restructurings with reference to some recent (and less recent) cases and changes in the law and points which have come to the fore in the current climate.
On 5 October 2011 Justice Barrett of the Supreme Court of NSW handed down a decision in Centro Retail Limited and Centro MCS Manager Limited in its capacity as Responsible Entity of the Centro Retail Trust  NSWSC 1175 (“Centro”) where he found that the responsible entity of Centro Retail Trust would be justified in modifying the constitution of the trust without unitholder approval to a insert a provision permitting the issue of units at a price different to that provided for by the pre-existing provisions.
Court Acceptance of Petition for Corporate Reorganization
The collapse of Lehman Brothers was a major test of the procedures developed by market participants to address counterparty credit risk and has uncovered deficiencies in risk management policies and their application.
On August 9, 2006, Judge Burton R. Lifland of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York entered a Final Order Establishing Procedures for Trading in Claims and Equity Securities of Dana Corporation (the “Dana NOL Trading Order”). The Dana NOL Trading Order is materially different from NOL trading orders that have been approved by other bankruptcy courts and, from the perspective of investors in claims and distressed securities, represents a material improvement.
Treatment of NOLs in Business Reorganizations
On February 16, 2011, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled that a discounted cash flow analysis constituted “a commercially reasonable determinant of value” for purposes of section 562(a) of the United States Bankruptcy Code.1 In so doing, the court upheld the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware decision sustaining the objection of American Home Mortgage Holdings, Inc.
A Delaware bankruptcy court recently delivered the first decision applying section 562 of the Bankruptcy Code to a claim based on the termination of a repurchase agreement. In re American Home Mortgage Corp., Bankr. Case no. 07-1104, Dkt. no. 8021 (Bankr. D. Del. Sept. 8, 2009). The court’s ruling creates additional uncertainty in the calculation of bankruptcy claims, not only with respect to repurchase agreements but also with respect to other safe harbored financial contracts.
In a decision likely to affect thousands of Madoff investors, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals on Aug. 16, 2011 unanimously upheld the method used by the liquidating trustee for Bernard L.
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has now weighed in on the Bankruptcy Code’s safe harbor provisions. In Enron Creditors Recovery Corp. v. Alfa, S.A.B. de C.V., Docket Nos. 09–5122, 09–5142, 2011 WL 2536101 (2d Cir. June 28, 2011), the Second Circuit Court of Appeals faced an issue of first impression—whether Section 546(e) of the Bankruptcy Code, which shields certain payments from avoidance actions in bankruptcy, extends to an issuer’s payment to redeem its commercial paper made before maturity.
On Monday, the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) released a report entitled “Factors Affecting Efforts to Limit Payments to AIG Counterparties.” The report examines certain transactions related to the rescue of AIG, including the creation of Maiden Lane III, a limited liability company formed last year to facilitate the purchase of assets from counterparties of AIG Financia