Lehman Swiss Unit, Sinfonika, Arpeni Insolvency: Bankruptcy

Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. said its Swiss affiliate filed about $16 billion of “overstated” claims against the defunct firm. A “reasonable” estimate of the claims would be $63 million, Lehman told a judge in a court filing.

Lehman is seeking to estimate final claims because it has to keep reserves to pay them. Reserves would reduce the amount of money it can start paying creditors, Lehman said in a court filing.

Slovenian Court Upholds Rejected Lawsuit for Telekom Slovenije

A Slovenian appeals court upheld a lower-court decision to dismiss a complaint by Sinfonika d.d. against national phone company Telekom Slovenije d.d. over its alleged dominant position.

Sinfonika, which is in bankruptcy, was seeking 34 million euros ($43 million) in damages from Telekom Slovenije for the alleged abuse of its dominant market share, the Ljubljana-based telecommunications company said in a Jan. 13 statement to the city stock exchange. The decision is final, Telekom said.

Arpeni Insolvency to Be Decided in Indonesia, U.S. Court Rules

PT Arpeni Pratama Ocean Line won a court order recognizing Indonesia as home to the shipping company’s main insolvency proceeding.

The decision in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan gives the bankruptcy judge the right to enforce the rulings of the Central Jakarta Commercial Court in the U.S. The Indonesian court will oversee the distribution of assets, meaning U.S. creditors will need to file claims in Indonesia.

The ruling may set an example for future Indonesian debt restructuring decisions, whereby a foreign court will accept a debtor’s home jurisdiction. The decision may mean that all creditors on Arpeni’s $141 million in 8.5 percent 2013 bonds will have to accept its offer to exchange the securities for cash or floating-rate notes.

“International investors will now have to get their head around the fact that bankruptcy law, as a creature of public policy, has always been intended to trump creditors’ contractual rights in the debt instruments,” Joe Bauerschmidt, a partner at Jones Day working on the case, said by telephone on Jan. 12. “Philosophically, this is the right step to make in an international restructuring.”

Manroland May Be Sold Whole as Interest Rises, Handelsblatt Says

Manroland AG may be bought in its entirety by a financial investor, Handelsblatt reported, without saying where it got the information.

Insolvency administrator Werner Schneider is also in talks to sell the insolvent printing-press maker’s plants in Augsburg, Offenbach and Plauen separately, the German newspaper said.

While a strategic investor from Germany is interested in the Augsburg facility, Shanghai Electric Group Co.’s offer for the Offenbach unit won’t be considered as the Chinese company was interested in the technology only and would have closed the plant, the newspaper said, citing people close to the unions it didn’t name.

Meteor Gummiwerke K. H. Baedje GmbH & Co. Files for Insolvency

Meteor Gummiwerke K. H. Baedje GmbH & Co. KG filed for insolvency due to problems with liquidity and over-indebtedness, the Bietigheim-Bissingen, Germany-based manufacturer of rubber materials said Jan. 13 in an e-mailed statement.

Sino-Forest Says Bondholders Group Agree to Default Waiver

Sino-Forest Corp., the Chinese timber company fending off allegations of fraud, said it reached a waiver agreement with a group of bondholders, reducing the risk of bankruptcy.

Holders of a majority of its senior notes due 2014 and 2017 agreed to waive the default, Hong Kong- and Mississauga, Ontario-based Sino-Forest said Jan. 12 in a statement. In December, the company said it received notices of default after announcing it wouldn’t publish its third-quarter financial results on “a timely basis.”

“It keeps Sino-Forest out of bankruptcy for the time being,” Geof Marshall, who helps oversee C$5 billion ($4.9 billion) of fixed-income funds at CI Investments Inc. in Toronto, said in a telephone interview.

A special committee of directors has been investigating allegations in a June report by short seller Carson Block’s Muddy Waters LLC that Sino-Forest overstated its timber assets in China. After the report, the shares fell 74 percent before trading was suspended by the Ontario Securities Commission in August, reducing the company’s market value by C$3.3 billion.

Sino-Forest, which is also under investigation by the OSC and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, denies the allegations.

Solar Millennium May Be Bought as a Whole, FT Deutschland Says

Solar Millennium AG may be bought as a whole, as there are strategic as well as financial investors interested in acquiring the company, Financial Times Deutschland said, citing comments by Volker Boehm, the company’s insolvency administrator.

The due diligence process could start this week, Boehm said, the newspaper reported. Ferrostaal AG as well as an unnamed construction company are among the parties interested, the newspaper said, without saying how it got the information.

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