On April 30, Klausner Number One filed for Chapter 11 protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware. According to the petition, which is filed under file number 20-11033-KBO, liabilities are expected to exceed US$ 100 million.
The US information service Law360 quotes the Chief Restructuring Officer (CRO) and Managing Director of Asgaard Capital Michael Freeman, who was appointed by Klausner, as saying that the management of Klausner Lumber One filed the application in order to sell the company’s assets. The lawyer Daniel B. Butz from the law firm Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell was appointed as a representative in the Klausner proceedings.
In recent months, Klausner had already been in negotiations with a Central European timber group on the sale of the two sawmills Klausner Lumber One and Klausner Lumber Two. However, the negotiations were broken off without result in March. Shortly after business operations in Live Oak were discontinued, a class action lawsuit against Klausner was filed in the United States District Court for the Middle East District of Florida, Jacksonville Division, on March 21, accusing the company of failing to comply with the 60-day notice period prior to the implementation of a mass layoff and of outstanding wage and social security payments.
The owner of the two plants is Klausner Nordamerika Beteiligungs GmbH (KNB), over which bankruptcy proceedings have already been opened at the Innsbruck Regional Court since April 14. The managing director of the company is Leopold Stephan, the sole shareholder is again the Alpha Private Foundation with the board members Leopold, Michael Almberger and Michael Bujak. All three persons are also board members of the Kappa Private Foundation.
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