Societe Generale Seeks Exit From Jefferson County Appeal

Societe Generale SA asked a federal court to be dismissed from an appeal by Jefferson County, Alabama, because it no longer has a financial stake in the bankrupt county’s sewer bonds.

“Societe Generale has transferred all of its rights, title and interest in and to those certain Jefferson County Sewer Revenue Refunding Warrants issued by Jefferson County and accordingly is no longer interested in pursuing the claims that are the subject of the appeal,” the bank said in a March 1 filing in the U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta.

Jefferson County is appealing a bankruptcy judge’s ruling last year that limited the expenses the county can deduct before turning sewer revenue over to holders of the bonds, which included Paris-based Societe Generale.

Jefferson County began the country’s largest Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy in November 2011, saying its long-term debt was $4.23 billion, including about $3.1 billion in defaulted sewer debt for which the debt holders could look only to the sewer system for payment. The sewer debt default is at the core of the county’s financial ills.

The case is In re Jefferson County, 11-05736, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Alabama (Birmingham). The appellate case is Jefferson County, Alabama v. Bank of Nova Scotia New York, 13-10348, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit (Atlanta).