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The Delaware Bankruptcy Insider is a premier blog designed to bring its readers a comprehensive analysis of the latest Delaware corporate bankruptcy news and rulings.  Brought to you by Ashby & Geddes, P.A.

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Showing posts in Judge Christopher S. Sontchi

On the Eve of the EFH Confirmation Hearing, Bankruptcy Court Issues Opinion on Unsecured Noteholders’ Entitlement to Post-Petition Interest

In re Energy Future Holdings Corp., No. 14-10979, 2015 WL 6660787 (Bankr. D. Del. Oct. 30, 2015)

On the eve of the multi-week confirmation hearing scheduled in the chapter 11 cases of Energy Future Holdings Corp., Judge Sontchi of Delaware’s Bankruptcy Court issued several significant decisions, one of which—analyzed here—rules on whether unsecured creditors are entitled to receive post-petition interest on their claims under four sections of the Bankruptcy Code—section 502(b)(2), section 1129(a)(7) (“Best Interests Test”), section 1129(b) (“Cramdown”), and section 1124(1) (“Unimpairment”).*  First, as a threshold matter, the Court held that an allowable portion of an unsecured claim… Read More

Preference Defendant Establishes Ordinary Course Of Business Defense Despite Ruling To The Contrary On Summary Judgment

Burtch v. Revchem Composites, Inc. (In re Sierra Concrete Design, Inc.), Adv. No. 10-52667 (CSS), 2015 WL 4381571 (Bankr. D. Del. July 16, 2015)

After a trial on the merits, the Bankruptcy Court issued an Opinion and entered judgment for defendant Revchem Composites, Inc. (“Revchem”), finding that Revchem established that all of the transactions in question were made in the ordinary course of business, thereby protected from avoidance as a preference.  The ruling came after the Court’s previous Opinion whereby Judge Sontchi held, on summary judgment, that “the parties’ pre-preference relationship was insufficient to establish the existence of… Read More

UPDATE – After Trial And Despite Likelihood Of Success On The Merits, Bankruptcy Court Holds No “Cause” To Lift Automatic Stay, Ending Make-Whole Adversary Proceeding in EFH

Delaware Trust Co. v. Energy Future Intermediate Holding Co. (In re Energy Future Holdings Corp.), Adv. Pro. No. 14-50363 (CSS), — B.R. — (Bankr. D. Del. July 8, 2015)

Previously, the Delaware Bankruptcy Court determined that an evidentiary hearing was necessary on the issue of whether “cause” exists to lift the automatic stay with respect to the make-whole dispute.  For a general background of the facts and law, see our recent blog post here.  Now, after a three-day trial, Judge Sontchi has held that, under the totality of the circumstances, cause does not exist to lift the… Read More

Practice Point: Direct Appeals to the Third Circuit When A Majority Of Appellants And Appellees Agree

Stanziale v. Car-Ber Testing, Inc. (In re Conex Holdings, LLC), — B.R. —- (D. Del. Mar. 23, 2015)

This Memorandum involves a request for direct appeal from a Bankruptcy Court Order granting summary judgment in favor of Car-Ber Testing, Inc. (the “Appellee”) on its new value defense to certain preferential payments received from Conex Holdings, LLC (with its affiliated entities, the “Debtors”).  Delaware’s District Court denied the request of the chapter 7 trustee (the “Appellant”) despite Appellee joining in the request, ruling that Appellant had not shown that (i) no controlling authority or matter of public importance existed; (ii)… Read More

Automatic Stay Held Not Applicable to Shareholder’s Right to Compel Shareholder Meeting

In re SS Body Armor I, Inc., No. 10-11255 (CSS), 2015 WL 1523775 (Bankr. D. Del. Apr. 1, 2015)

In this Opinion, Delaware Bankruptcy Court Judge Christopher S. Sontchi adopted previous holdings of the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the Delaware District Court to rule that the right of a shareholder to compel a shareholder meeting for the purpose of electing a new board of directors continues during a bankruptcy proceeding unimpaired by the automatic stay.  See Manville Corp. v. Equity Sec. Holders Comm. (In re Johns-Manville Corp.), 801 F.2d 60 (2d Cir. 1986); Official Bondholder Comm…. Read More

Significant Headway Made Relating To EFH Make-Whole Dispute, But Stay Relief Motion And Make-Whole Liability Hang In The Balance

Delaware Trust Co. v. Energy Future Intermediate Holding Co. (In re Energy Future Holdings Corp.), Adv. Pro. No. 14-50363 (CSS), — B.R. — (Bankr. D. Del. Mar. 26, 2015)

On March 26, 2015, Judge Sontchi made a significant, but not entirely dispositive, ruling in the on-going make-whole litigation encompassed within the Energy Future Holdings Corp. (with its affiliates, the “Debtors”) bankruptcy proceedings.  In this Opinion, Judge Sontchi granted summary judgment for the Debtors in part, ruling that (i) the bankruptcy filing caused an automatic redemption and no “Applicable Premium” or make-whole was due; (ii) the EFIH Debtors’ did… Read More

Can A Publication Notice Satisfy Due Process For “An Entire Class Of Claimants That Are So Unknown As To Be Unknown Even To Themselves”?

In re Energy Future Holdings Corp., No. 14-10979 (CSS), 2015 WL 77416 (Bankr. D. Del. Jan. 7, 2015)

In the chapter 11 proceedings of Energy Future Holdings Corp. and its affiliated debtors (the “Debtors”) pending before the Delaware Bankruptcy Court, the Court was asked to establish a bar date for “claims of unknown persons that have yet to manifest any sign of illness from exposure to asbestos” (the “Unmanifested Claims” or the “Unmanifested Claimants”) so that the Debtors and parties participating in the ongoing marketing process of the Debtors could understand the extent and nature… Read More

What Is The Proper Method For Analyzing Timing Of Payments For The Ordinary Course Of Business?

Stanziale v. Indus. Specialists Inc., a/k/a Indus. Specialists, LLC (In re Conex Holdings, LLC), Adv. No. 12-51170 (CSS), 2014 WL 7205203 (Bankr. D. Del. Dec. 18, 2014)

The Court in this Opinion addressed and clarified the methodology for showing whether payment timing is “ordinary” under the subjective prong of section 547(c)(2) of the Bankruptcy Code.  In so doing, it eschewed the use of weighted averages or other statistical methodologies, and found that payments were ordinary when they were within the range of the parties’ historical dealings and close to the historical average.

Under the facts of the case, the chapter… Read More

The Insider’s Scoop: EFH Bidding Procedures Approved But Significant Modifications Necessary To Cure Fundamental Flaws

Upon commencement of this mega-chapter 11 case, the Debtors filed and pursued assumption of a restructuring support agreement (“RSA”), which contemplated, among other things, the tax-free spinoff of the Debtor entities that control the economic interest in their non-debtor affiliate, Oncor, a company that provides residential and commercial electricity in Texas and has been estimated by the Debtors to be worth as much as $18 billion.  Over the summer, however, the Debtors were forced to abandon the RSA when certain bidders offered more value than was to be provided under the RSA transactions.

Post termination of the RSA, the Debtors… Read More

Short History of Dealings? No More Gap Filling for Ordinary Course of Business Defense

Stanziale, Jr. v. Southern Steel & Supply, L.L.C. (In re Conex Holdings, LLC), Adv. No. 12-51211 (CSS), 2014 WL 5139240 (Bankr. D. Del. Oct. 14, 2014)

In this recent Opinion from the Honorable Christopher S. Sontchi, the Court was presented with cross-motions for summary judgment, both seeking a determination that six preferential transfers paid to the defendant by the debtor qualified for the ordinary course of business defense under section 547(c)(2) of the Bankruptcy Code.  Importantly, the transfers constituted the totality of the parties’ relationship.  In rendering His Honor’s Opinion denying both summary judgment requests, the… Read More