The valuation, which was due to be presented on Nov. 20, was delayed after potential buyers for A-Tec’s AE&E unit emerged and Deloitte got involved in the sales process, Kantner, a representative of credit protection association Kreditschutzverband von 1870, said in a telephone interview from Vienna today.
A new company has expressed an interest to buy the unit and started negotiations today, Kantner said, declining to identify the potential bidder. This is one of a “handful” of serious bidders, he said.
Vitkovice Machinery Group in the Czech Republic may be the new bidder, Wirtschaftsblatt reported on its website today, citing nobody.
Ireland Seeks Rescue as European Union Fights to Stem Contagion
Ireland sought international aid, becoming the second euro country to need a rescue as the cost of saving its banks threatened a rerun of the Greek debt crisis that destabilized the currency. The euro and European stocks advanced.
Ireland will channel some of the money from the European Union and International Monetary Fund to lenders through a “contingent” capital fund, Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan told reporters late yesterday. The rest of the package, which Goldman Sachs Group Inc. estimates may total 95 billion euros ($131 billion), would help Ireland avoid selling bonds.
“The banks were too big a problem for the country,” Lenihan said in Dublin. “The key issue all the time for the government is to ensure that we do not have a collapse of the banking sector.”
The aid, which Irish officials said as recently as Nov. 15 they didn’t need, marks the latest blow to an economy that more than doubled in the decade ending in 2006. The bursting of the real-estate bubble in 2008 plunged the country into a recession and brought its banks close to collapse. With Irish bond yields near a record, policy makers are trying to keep the crisis from engulfing Portugal and Spain, the fourth-largest euro economy.
“Speculative actions against Portugal and Spain are not justified, though it can’t be excluded,” Jean-Claude Juncker, who leads the group of euro-area finance ministers, said today on RTL Luxembourg radio.
U.K. Insolvencies Dropped 17% in October on Year, Experian Says
The number of U.K. business insolvencies fell 17 percent in October from a year earlier as companies’ financial positions improved, Experian Plc said.
Insolvencies declined to 1,635 from 1,976 in the same month a year ago, Experian said in a report released by e-mail today in Nottingham, England. The proportion of companies that failed slipped to 0.08 percent from 0.1 percent in October 2009.
Experian said Britain’s “largest companies” recorded the biggest improvement in the insolvency rate, falling to 0.1 percent from 0.16 percent.
JAL, 5 Banks Agree to 285 Billion Yen in Loans, Nikkei Says
Japan Airlines Corp. and five banks agreed to loans of 284.9 billion yen ($3.41 billion) for the air carrier, Nikkei English News reported Nov. 20, without saying where it obtained the information.
JAL creditors accepted the airline’s rehabilitation plans submitted to the Tokyo District Court, Nikkei said.
Irish Nationwide Bondholders Back Liquidation Lawsuit
Two Irish Nationwide Building Society subordinated bondholders told a London court Nov. 19 that a lawsuit seeking the liquidation of the nationalized property lender should be allowed to proceed.
The bondholders, Satinland Finance Sarl and Trimast Holding Sarl, said the bank bailout is forcing them to assume part of the burden that should be shouldered by the Irish government. The bondholders are seeking to force a BNP Paribas SA unit, the debt program trustee, to file a winding-up petition against Irish Nationwide, which has asked to dismiss the lawsuit.
The investors sued after Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan said Sept. 30 that holders of subordinated bonds would be expected to share in the cost of bailing out Irish Nationwide and Anglo Irish Bank Corp., the country’s two nationalized lenders. The government has committed 5.4 billion euros ($7.4 billion) to rescue Irish Nationwide, as losses mounted amid surging bad loans.
“The burden-sharing process” imposes “losses on one class, namely subordinated noteholders, while not imposing losses on another class, namely the Irish government,” Neil Calver, a lawyer for the bondholders, said at a Nov. 19 hearing in London. “INBS has repudiated the notes by indicating it does not intend to pay the contractually obliged amount when it falls due by way of burden-sharing.”
Lehman Europe Wins U.K. Ruling Over $1.5 Billion in Securities
Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s former U.K. unit won a court ruling allowing it to keep more than $1.5 billion worth of securities left in the bank’s accounts when it collapsed more than two years ago.
Lehman Brothers International Europe, which is liquidating in London, had asked the U.K. court for direction on whether five other Lehman units owned any of the securities that had been bought and sold to one another in a series of internal transactions.
The case is known as the “Rascals” litigation, for “Regulation and Administration of Safe Custody and Local Settlement,” the name of the bank’s internal process for making accounting entries between LBIE and the affiliates to record repurchase arrangements.
“The standard Rascals process had the effect of transferring that beneficial ownership in the securities to LBIE,” its administrators at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP said in a statement Nov. 19. “LBIE retained beneficial ownership of the securities thereafter.”
Lehman filed for the U.S.’s biggest bankruptcy in September 2008, roiling financial markets and contributing to the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. The U.K. unit has been involved in suits with the parent company in the U.S. and affiliates throughout Europe over billions in accounts frozen when the bank collapsed.
DOF Chief Aase May Evaluate DeepOcean If for Sale, DN Reports
Norway’s DOF ASA may be interested in DeepOcean, a unit of Trico Marine Group, should it be put up for sale, Dagens Naeringsliv reported Nov. 19, citing Chief Executive Officer Mons Aase.
DOF may assess how DeepOcean would fit with its own subsea business, the CEO told the Oslo-based newspaper. DOF is interested in growing in the subsea field, the newspaper said.
Evercore and Alix Partners are assisting Trico, creditors and a bankruptcy court in Delaware to identify and negotiate with interested parties, DN said, without saying where it got the information. Trico Marine Services Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in August. The Norwegian part of Trico wasn’t included in the filing, the newspaper said.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@Bloomberg.net.