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Furniture Brands International Extension Sought

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Furniture Brands International filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court a motion to extend the exclusive period during which the Company can file a Chapter 11 plan and solicit acceptances thereof through and including July 7, 2014 and September 8, 2014, respectively. The motion explains, “The Debtors’ chapter 11 cases are sufficiently large and complex to warrant the requested extension of the Exclusive Periods. The Debtors operated their businesses on a global basis….The Debtors are also developing and implementing their strategy for the liquidation of certain residual assets excluded from the Sale to maximize the value of these estates. Although the Debtors are addressing these issues expeditiously, they will require additional time to complete and implement their chapter 11 exit strategy. The requested extension is reasonable given the Debtors’ progress to date and the current posture of these chapter 11 cases. Since the commencement of these chapter 11 cases, the Debtors, their management, and their advisors have been diligently working towards consummating a Sale of substantially all of their business. The Debtors are now focusing their efforts on resolving numerous cure objections asserted in connection with the Sale, investigating additional sources of recovery for creditors, and transitioning their operations to the Purchasers. These efforts are made even more challenging in light of the fact that substantially all of the Debtors employees accepted employment with the Purchasers upon closing of the Sale. At this stage, the Debtors believe that an extension of the Exclusive Periods will allow the Debtors to negotiate and develop a consensual chapter 11 plan, while continuing to devote the necessary resources towards maximizing the value of the Debtors’ estates. The Debtors’ current progress towards resolving the issues facing the estates and consummating the Sale justifies the requested extension of the Exclusive Periods… The Debtors do not believe that the extension will pressure creditors to accede to a plan that is unsatisfactory to them. Under these circumstances, granting an extension of the Exclusive Periods will not give the Debtors unfair bargaining leverage over creditor constituencies.” The Court scheduled a January 7, 2014 hearing to consider this motion.

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