Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway Ltd., whose runaway oil train exploded and killed 47 people in Quebec in July, hired investment bank Gordian Group LLC to sell the carrier, which could occur by the end of the year.
The Canadian monitor and Chapter 11 trustee set Oct. 31 as the deadline for interest from potential bidders, according to documents filed today in bankruptcy court in Bangor, Maine. A stalking horse bidder will be selected by Nov. 15 and an auction will occur on Dec. 13, followed by court approval for the winning bid three days later, according to the filings.
Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway filed for bankruptcy protection in August because of potential liability from the crash, Canada’s worst rail disaster since 1910. The Canadian Transportation Agency suspended the carrier’s operating certificate after the accident, due to insufficient liability coverage.
The town of Lac-Megantic is seeking financial aid to restore the gutted community and a civil complaint alleges a failure to take steps to prevent a derailment.
The Hermon, Maine-based carrier is still working to create a formal claims process for the families of the victims and other claims holders. The carrier will present a formal process to the court for approval by Nov. 30, according to the filings.
The case is In re Montreal Maine & Atlantic Railway Ltd., 13-bk-10670, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Maine (Bangor).