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7th Circuit orders proposed plan of reorganization open to competitive bidding

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The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a Southern District Bankruptcy judge Thursday, finding the judge incorrectly ruled that competition was unnecessary in a plan of reorganization involving a shopping center.

George Broadbent owns 98 percent direct equity of Castleton Plaza, the debtor, and the other 2 percent indirectly. EL-SNPR is Castleton Plaza’s only secured lender. When Castleton Plaza’s note matured with EL-SNPR, it did not pay and instead commenced bankruptcy. About a year later it proposed a plan of reorganization, under which $300,000 of EL-SNPR’s $10 million secured debt would be paid now with the balance written down to around $8.2 million and treated as unsecured. One-hundred percent of equity in the reorganized Castleton Plaza would go to Mary Clare Broadbent, George’s wife, who would invest $375,000.

George Broadbent is CEO of the Broadbent Company Inc., in which Mary Clare Broadbent owns all of the equity, and he receives a salary from the company. Broadbent and Castleton Plaza would keep their management contract.

EL-SNPR, thinking Castleton Plaza’s assets have been undervalued, asked the bankruptcy judge to condition Mary Clare Broadbent’s plan acceptance on her making the highest bid in open competition. Judge Basil Lorch III held that competition is unnecessary and confirmed the plan as proposed.

“Competition helps prevent the funneling of value from lenders to insiders, no matter who proposes the plan or when. An impaired lender who objects to any plan that leaves insiders holding equity is entitled to the benefit of competition,” Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook wrote. “If, as Castleton and the Broadbents insist, their plan offers creditors the best deal, then they will prevail in the auction. But if, as EL-SNPR believes, the bankruptcy judge has underestimated the value of Castleton’s real estate, wiped out too much of the secured claim, and set the remaining loan’s terms at below-market rates, then someone will pay more than $375,000 (perhaps a lot more) for the equity in the reorganized firm.”

The case, In the matter of: Castleton Plaza LP; Appeal of: El-SNPR Notes Holdings LLC, 12-2639, is remanded with directions to open the proposed plan of reorganization to competitive bidding.

 

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  1. 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.

  2. 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!!

  3. @ 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.

  4. If it were your child that died maybe you'd be more understanding. Most of us don't have graves to visit. My son was killed on a state road and I will be putting up a memorial where he died. It gives us a sense of peace to be at the location he took his last breath. Some people should be more understanding of that.

  5. Can we please take notice of the connection between the declining state of families across the United States and the RISE OF CPS INVOLVEMENT??? They call themselves "advocates" for "children's rights", however, statistics show those children whom are taken from, even NEGLIGENT homes are LESS likely to become successful, independent adults!!! Not to mention the undeniable lack of respect and lack of responsibility of the children being raised today vs the way we were raised 20 years ago, when families still existed. I was born in 1981 and I didn't even ever hear the term "CPS", in fact, I didn't even know they existed until about ten years ago... Now our children have disagreements between friends and they actually THREATEN EACH OTHER WITH, "I'll call CPS" or "I'll have [my parent] (usually singular) call CPS"!!!! And the truth is, no parent is perfect and we all have flaws and make mistakes, but it is RIGHTFULLY OURS - BY THE CONSTITUTION OF THIS GREAT NATION - to be imperfect. Let's take a good look at what kind of parenting those that are stealing our children are doing, what kind of adults are they producing? WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS TO THE CHILDREN THAT HAVE BEEN RIPPED FROM THEIR FAMILY AND THAT CHILD'S SUCCESS - or otherwise - AS AN ADULT.....

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