Daily News: March 16, 2012

2012 Corporate Bankruptcy Assets Triple

According to BankruptcyData.com, 2012’s current corporate bankruptcy count is just slightly elevated from 2011’s: through March 8, 2012 has seen a total of 18 public* Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 bankruptcies – compared to last year’s 16. These figures represent a significant decline from 2010’s total of 22 filings (also through 3/8). The industries taking the heaviest hit this year are electronics and energy – each of which saw a total of three public bankruptcies. To date, Kodak’s Chapter 11 still holds the title of largest filing of the year.

The Ten Largest Bankruptcies of 2012, through 3/8/12, ordered by company, bankruptcy date and assets:

Eastman Kodak Company, 01/19/12, $6.24 billion

United Western Bancorp, Inc., 03/02/12, $2.53 billion

Global Aviation Holdings Inc., 02/05/12, $690 million

TBS International plc, 02/06/12, $686 million

Ener1, Inc., 01/26/12, $397 million

Energy Conversion Devices, Inc., 02/14/12, $389 million

Trident Microsystems, Inc., 01/04/12, $371 million

Grubb & Ellis Company, 02/20/12, $287 million

LSP Energy Limited Partnership, 02/10/12, $100 to 500 million ***

Buffets Restaurants Holdings, Inc., 01/18/12, $100 to 500 million ***

The asset size of companies filing for U.S. Bankruptcy Court protection has nearly tripled this year-from just $3.96 billion through 3/8 in 2011 up to $11.92 billion this year. 2012’s combined asset total nears the $12.78 billion seen through 3/8/10.

Other noteworthy bankruptcy filing trends include plan confirmations, prepackaged bankruptcies and Chapter 22’s. Despite recent activity, U.S. Bankruptcy Court confirmation orders have declined in 2012. Through 3/8, we’ve seen just nine companies receive Court approval of their plans-compared to 12 and 26 through the same periods in 2011 and 2010, respectively. Prepacks, those proceedings in which the debtor files a pre-negotiated reorganization plan concurrently with a Chapter 11 petition, are up this year. Through 3/8, there have been four prepacks in 2012: Cano Petroleum, Inc.; TBS International plc; Ener1, Inc. and Buffets Restaurants Holdings, Inc. Through the same date in 2011, there were two prepacks – while eight bankruptcies utilized this expedited approach in 2010 (through 3/8). The rate of companies making repeat Chapter 11 filings is holding steady: Through 3/8/12, there have been three repeat offenders: TBS International; Global Aviation Holdings and Buffets Restaurants Holdings. Through the same date, there were just two Chapter 22’s in both 2011 and 2010.

Explanatory Data Notes:

* BankruptcyData.com defines publicly traded as those companies with common stock and/or bonds that are publicly traded on U.S. markets.

** Asset figures are pre-petition and taken from each debtor’s most recent Annual Report filed with the SEC – unless otherwise indicated

*** The only asset figure available for these debtors was that indicated on Chapter 11 petition.