Walter Bau, Marco Polo Seatrade, Lehman, A-Tec: Bankruptcy

Thailand’s Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn will use his personal funds to recover an airplane seized by German liquidators in Munich last month as part of a bankruptcy dispute.

Werner Schneider, the insolvency administrator for builder Walter Bau AG, seized a Boeing 737 belonging to the crown prince on July 11 to force payment on a 30 million-euro ($43.3 million) claim against the Thai state, the company said last month.

The crown prince “has no connection with the dispute between the Thai government and Walter Bau, and didn’t cause the dispute,” the crown prince’s secretariat said in a statement late yesterday. “To avoid any impact to the good relationship between Thailand and Germany and to end the dispute on good terms and in an expeditious manner, the crown prince will provide his personal funds to end the dispute.”

A 2009 decision by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, or Uncitral, ordered Thailand to pay Walter Bau more than 30 million euros for breaching a bilateral investment treaty between Germany and Thailand. The order found that Thailand’s government breached the terms of a toll road concession operated by a venture partly owned by Walter Bau.

A Berlin court ruled on July 20 that Thailand must deposit 20 million euros to secure the release of the aircraft, according to the crown prince’s statement. The crown prince’s statement didn’t say how much will be paid. He is the only son of head of state King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Thai law imposes a jail sentence of up to 15 years for defaming, insulting or threatening the king, queen, heir apparent or regent.

Marco Polo Seatrade Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in New York

Marco Polo Seatrade BV, a manager of funds, trusts and foundations, filed for bankruptcy court protection in New York.

The Amsterdam-based company listed both assets and debt of $100 million to $500 million in Chapter 11 documents filed July 29 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan.

Affiliates Seaarland Shipping Management BV, Magellano Marine CV and Cargoship Maritime BV also sought court protection.

Falm International Holding BV owns 100 percent of the equity of Marco Polo, court papers show.

The case is In re Marco Polo Seatrade BV, 11-bk-13634, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

Bundesbank Loses U.K. Bid to Seize Assets in Lehman CDO Deal

Germany’s central bank lost its bid to take control of a 2.9 billion-euro ($4.2 billion) securitization set up by Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. just before its collapse.

Judge Michael Briggs on July 29 ruled Excalibur Funding No. 1 wasn’t in default for long enough to allow the senior noteholder, the Bundesbank, to wrest control away from Lehman.

Excalibur was created by Lehman in May 2008 when the U.S. bank packaged together a group of loans and collateralized debt obligations. New York-based Lehman filed for bankruptcy three months later listing assets of $639 billion.

Under the rules of the Excalibur agreement, if the special purpose vehicle was found to be in default, management of its assets would pass to the Bundesbank as holder of 2.1 billion euros of its senior debt. Lawyers for Lehman, which holds 722 million euros of Excalibur’s junior debt, argued Excalibur had enough cash to meet its obligations.

Magnus Makela, a spokesman for the Bundesbank, said the central bank came to own the Excalibur notes because they were used as collateral on a loan for a German subsidiary of Lehman, which followed its parent into bankruptcy.

The central bank won’t comment further until it’s examined the ruling in detail, Makela said.

Kimberly Macleod, a spokeswoman for Lehman, declined to comment.

While there was a default on Jan. 25, it didn’t continue beyond Jan. 28, Justice Briggs said in his ruling. He granted all parties permission to appeal his decision.

Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC, which gave Excalibur’s senior notes an ‘A’ rating when the security was issued in 2008, warned in November the vehicle didn’t have enough income to pay interest on the junior notes held by Lehman and that senior noteholders were unlikely to be repaid in full.

In the latest of a series of downgrades, it lowered Excalibur’s rating to ‘D’ in March.

Pakistani Investor Fiyaz is Third A-Tec Suitor, Oesterreich Says

Pakistani investor Alshair Fiyaz is the third bidder for A-Tec Industries AG, the insolvent Austrian machinery group, daily newspaper Oesterreich reported, citing banking sources.

Fiyaz’s investment company ALFI joined Czech Penta Investments and hedge fund Springwater in bidding for the company, Vienna-based Oesterreich said.

Tokyo Electric Power Shouldn’t Enter Bankruptcy, Kaieda Says

Japan’s Trade Minister Banri Kaieda said it isn’t “appropriate” for Tokyo Electric Power Co. to enter bankruptcy proceedings. Tokyo Electric isn’t expected to become insolvent for now, Kaieda told upper house lawmakers in Tokyo. There are “various possibilities” in dealing with the company in the future, he said.

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