Below is our initial take on recent bankruptcy-related developments:
Simon Property and Canada-based Brookfield Asset Management, which bought JCPenney out of bankruptcy, bid to acquire Kohl’s for $68 a share, valuing the retailer above $8.6 billion.
S&K Take: Simon and Brookfield continue to be opportunistic in the retail space. The two, along with Authentic Brands, have been picking up assets since the onset of the pandemic, including Brooks Brothers, Forever 21, Eddie Bauer and Lucky brands. This deal, however, is far from a fait accompli, and has the look of a pretty robust bidding process with some other heavy hitters in the mix.
Rep. Elise Stefanik, who supports the Protecting Gun Owners in Bankruptcy Act of 2022, has proposed amending federal bankruptcy law to allow individual debtors to exempt up to $3,000 in guns from their bankruptcy estate.
S&K Take: This legislation wouldn’t have quite the same impact on bankruptcy practice as the Nondebtor Release Prohibition Act or the Bankruptcy Venue Reform Act but figured we would throw it in anyway. It is also the second time in two weeks that gun rights and bankruptcy have intersected on the weekly rundown. Who knew?
InfoWars, the far-right conspiracy theory website owned by Alex Jones, defended its request to use subchapter V of the Code, which is designed for small businesses, citing Jones’ parents have been involved in the endeavor.
S&K Take: This case is extremely interesting -- it looks at the intersection of existing litigation and bankruptcy from a different angle. We have all been watching Purdue and the Texas Two-Step cases (J&J for example) to see how debtors are using the bankruptcy process to deal with mass torts. InfoWars is on a smaller scale, but includes the same claimant disenfranchisement issues, particularly with the utilization of subchapter V. As expected, litigation claimants are seeking to dismiss the case while also questioning the debtors’ use of sub V.
Bankruptcy Judge Laurie Selber Silverstein is expected to rule within the next few weeks on the Boy Scouts of America’s bankruptcy reorganization plan.
S&K Take: This decision is highly anticipated (including by us). Among other things, Judge Silverstein will provide another data point on the release question that is so hot in the bankruptcy world right now.
The owner of Blue Moon Hotel, located in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, claiming $11.2 million in liabilities.
S&K Take: This case is relatively small and filed a while ago but thought we would mention it as a hospitality filing. We would have expected to see more of these given the impact of the pandemic, but the floodgates have yet to open. With rates rising and liquidity tightening, we may see an influx of these cases yet.