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Company can’t prevail in appeal on claims of collusion

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The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the confirmation of a sale of an ethanol plant in South Bend to a joint venture, rejecting a nonbidder’s claim that the establishment of the joint venture amounted to collusion that spoiled the auction.

Natural Chem Holdings opposed confirmation of the sale of New Energy Corp.’s ethanol plant, which it sold after entering bankruptcy. Maynards Industries Inc. and Biditup Auctions Worldwide Inc. entered a joint venture and won with a $2.5 million bid.

The bankruptcy judge denied Natural Chem’s motion to reconsider because the company hadn’t participated in the auction and thus could not have been harmed. The sale closed and later was confirmed by a District judge.

In In the matter of: New Energy Corporation; Appeal of: Natural Chem Holdings LLC, 13-2501, Judge Frank Easterbrook pointed out that Natural Chem didn’t post the bond to participate, so it wouldn’t prevail no matter what the other bidders did. It couldn’t have been injured as a creditor that stood to receive a reduced payout because Natural Chem is not among New Energy’s creditors.

“… bankruptcy courts are entitled to require cash bids, rather than complex and hard-to-value bids including leases and options. Cash bids are comparable; the sort of bid Natural Chem wanted to make could not easily have been compared against others. Natural Chem chose not to play by the auction’s rules. That was its right — but, because it did not bid, it also was not harmed by the outcome.”

“Natural Chem lacks standing for two independent reasons: it did not bid at the auction, and had it done so it would have been helped rather than harmed if the conduct of which it complains were indeed collusive,” Easterbrook wrote.

 

 

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  1. He did not have an "unlicensed handgun" in his pocket. Firearms are not licensed in Indiana. He apparently possessed a handgun without a license to carry, but it's not the handgun that is licensed (or registered).

  2. Once again, Indiana's legislature proves how friendly it is to monopolies. This latest bill by Hershman demonstrates the lengths Indiana's representatives are willing to go to put big business's (especially utilities') interests above those of everyday working people. Maassal argues that if the technology (solar) is so good, it will be able to compete on its own. Too bad he doesn't feel the same way about the industries he represents. Instead, he wants to cut the small credit consumers get for using solar in order to "add a 'level of certainty'" to his industry. I haven't heard of or seen such a blatant money-grab by an industry since the days when our federal, state, and local governments were run by the railroad. Senator Hershman's constituents should remember this bill the next time he runs for office, and they should penalize him accordingly.

  3. From his recent appearance on WRTV to this story here, Frank is everywhere. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, although he should stop using Eric Schnauffer for his 7th Circuit briefs. They're not THAT hard.

  4. They learn our language prior to coming here. My grandparents who came over on the boat, had to learn English and become familiarize with Americas customs and culture. They are in our land now, speak ENGLISH!!

  5. @ Rebecca D Fell, I am very sorry for your loss. I think it gives the family solace and a bit of closure to go to a road side memorial. Those that oppose them probably did not experience the loss of a child or a loved one.

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