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O.W. Bunker USA can complete liquidation

December 30, 2015

The Deal
By Kelsey Butler

Marine fuel suppliers O.W. Bunker North America Inc. and O.W. Bunker USA Inc. are nearly set to complete their Chapter 11 cases after securing confirmation of a liquidation plan.

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Montgomery McCracken’s Davis Lee Wright said the main highlight of the settlement with ING is the agreement to cooperate to collect on the outstanding receivables. “Without ING’s cooperation that would be a very difficult task,” he said.

Wright added: “The settlement with ING was probably one of the more significant settlements to get [us to] confirmation. … ING’s willingness to take an unsecured position was exceptionally important to providing a creditor recovery.”

Montgomery McCracken’s Robert E. O’Connor said that though the debtors’ bankruptcies were caused by a unique situation the collapse of their Danish parent, O.W. Bunker AS, because of fraud allegations there will be more bankruptcies in the maritime industry.

“Unfortunately, we’re going to see more,” O’Connor said. “There are certainly a few sectors of the maritime industry that are not doing well.”

These include the dry bulk sector, ship owners and operators that carry iron ore and coal to China, in part because of overcapacity and the slowdown of the country’s economy.

Additionally, he said that “shipyards are also hurting,” adding that vessels that support the offshore exploration and production of oil and gas also will face some challenges.

O’Connor said because of the nature of the specialized vessels, there’s not much else they can do, especially as “with the falling price of oil, it’s less attractive for the oil and gas companies to explore and produce oil offshore.”

[…]

Other members of the Montgomery McCracken team included Natalie D. Ramsey, Richard G. Placey, Mark A. Fink, Vincent M. DeOrchis and Kaspar Kielland.

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