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Gerova Financial of Bermuda Seeks U.S. Court Protection

Aug. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Gerova Financial Group Ltd., a Bermuda-based financial-services company, sought U.S. bankruptcy court protection listing debt of as much as $500 million.

The Hamilton-based firm, formerly known as Asia Special Situations Acquisition Corp., filed a Chapter 15 petition in Manhattan today to protect its U.S. assets from creditors. Assets were valued at more than $50 million, Gerova said.

Gerova began liquidation proceedings July 20 in Bermuda. Chapter 15 shields foreign companies from U.S. lawsuits and creditor claims while a company continues the process abroad.

The company said in January 2011 it acquired about $1.2 billion in insurance policies and loans and arranged financing for further purchases in the life-settlements market.

The case is In re Gerova Financial Group, 12-bk-13641, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

To contact the reporter on this story: Phil Milford in Wilmington, Delaware at pmilford@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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