Lehman Bankruptcy Update
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Following up on yesterday's post...
The case has been assigned to Judge James M. Peck (author of this important decision in the long-running Iridium litigation), who in 2006 adopted a lifestyle change in ascending to the bench and walking away from Schulte Roth & Zabel's highly regarded bankruptcy group, where he was co-chair. Here's the latest docket showing no new filings other than routine appearances by interested parties. Here's the voluntary petition, showing the top thirty unsecured creditors at the holding company level range from an aggregate $155 billion in bond debt to about $3 billion in aggregate bank debt.
Meanwhile, according to this notice from the US Trustee's office, the organizational meeting of unsecured creditors is set for 6:00 p.m. on September 16 at the Helmsley Park Lane Hotel. The purpose of the meeting is to form a creditors' committee, which will bestow upon one lucky firm one of bankruptcy's most coveted prizes--the role of committee counsel. Those wanting a sense of what these events are like should read Peter Lattman's rundown of the Calpine "beauty pageant." I suppose you could say it's a place where counsel puts lipstick on a pig (i.e., the debtor) in hopes of having committee members believe that counsel is best suited to maximize value for the benefit of creditors.
You can bet counsel will review with Committee members the whopping $5.7 billion in Christmas bonuses that were approved by this board and paid for management's stellar performance in [not taking the writedowns that may have impaired their bonuses in] 2007. For more insight into this issue, see Professor Adam Levitin's recent post on the Credit Slips Blog.
Finally, special thanks to Dan Slater of the WSJ Law Blog, Francis Pileggi of the Delaware Corporate and Commercial Litigation Blog, and Kevin LaCroix of The D & O Diary for their kind links that helped set this blog's record-breaking numbers for the day (3,435 page views from 1,643 unique sites).
Good luck to all! We sure need it!
© Steve Jakubowski 2008
I own senior Lehman bonds and am looking for an estimate on the recovery rate. This was a part of my retirement and I am devestated by this preventable bankruptcy. I hold the CEO and his greedy refusal to sell the business and the government for their refusal to back the risky debt RESPONSIBLE for this bankruptcy. Both should be sued and moneys recovered due to their lack of fiduciary responsibility, especially in light of the government's recent decision to bail out the financial markets with exactly that which they refused to do to expidite the Lehman sale. This action prior to Sunday would have prevented the bankruptcy. Shame on the biased and prejudiced powers to be!!!
I'm a lawyer, not an investment banker, so cannot venture even a guess as to estimated anticipated recovery rates. Lehman is represented by Lazard and the Creditors' Committee is represented by Houlihan Loukey. They'll have a much better sense. Best of luck to you.