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Showing 7 posts in Contract & Lease Issues.

Executoriness for Purposes of Kiwi Defense to Preference Action Determined on a Contract by Contract Basis; Purchase Orders Issued under Master Agreement Were Separate Divisible Contracts

PIRINATE Consulting Grp., LLC v. C.R. Meyer & Sons Co. (In re NewPage Corp.), No. 13-52429 (KG), 2017 WL 571478 (Bankr. D. Del. Feb. 13, 2017)

The Litigation Trustee (“Trustee”) of the NP Creditor Litigation Trust brought this adversary proceeding against C.R. Meyer & Sons Co. (“CRM”) seeking to avoid and recover over $2.3 million in alleged preferential transfers.  NewPage Corporation (“NewPage”) and its affiliates (collectively, “Debtors”) operated paper mills throughout the United States, and CRM handled maintenance and construction at the Escanaba, Michigan and Duluth, Minnesota mills.  Prior to the Debtors’ bankruptcy filing, the parties entered into a Master Construction Agreement (“Master Agreement”) pursuant to which CRM would provide services and items necessary to complete the work described in purchase orders to be issued from time to time under the agreement.  The Master Agreement refers to each purchase order issued by NewPage as a separate contract, and the purchase orders either reference the Master Agreement directly or through another purchase order.  In the course of the parties’ dealing, the purchase orders served to document work and facilitate payment. Read More ›

Third Circuit Affirms Debtors’ Right to Reject Expired Collective Bargaining Agreement Under Section 1113

In re Trump Entm’t Resorts, Unite Here Local 54, Appellant, No. 14-4807, 2016 WL 191926 (3d. Cir. Jan. 15, 2016), aff’g In re Trump Entm’t Resorts, Inc., 519 B.R. 76 (Bankr. D. Del. 2014)

On direct appeal, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a Delaware Bankruptcy Court ruling (see previous post here) that debtors’ powers under section 1113 of the Bankruptcy Code to reject a collective bargaining agreement remain in effect even if the agreement has expired. Read More ›

District Court Finds a Series of Agreements to be One – Reverses and Remands to Bankruptcy Court

Huron Consulting Servs., LLC v. Physiotherapy Holdings, Inc. (In re Physiotherapy Holdings, Inc.), No. 14-693 (LPS), 2015 WL 4205146 (D. Del. July 13, 2015)

In the spring of 2014, the Delaware Bankruptcy Court was presented with a contested assumption dispute involving six agreements between Physiotherapy Holdings Inc. and its various affiliates (together, the “Debtors”) and Huron Consulting Services, LLC (“Huron”).  While the Debtors sought to assume just one – a Licensing Agreement necessary to ongoing operations – Huron argued that all six agreements were integrated and must be assumed together or not at all.  For reasons discussed in our previous post, Judge Gross sided with the Debtors, allowing them to assume only the Licensing Agreement.  This appeal followed. Read More ›

Third Circuit’s Hypothetical Test Wins The Day As Bankruptcy Court Grants Donald And Ivanka Trump Relief From The Automatic Stay

In re Trump Entm’t Resorts, Inc., No. 14-12103 (KG), WL (Bankr. D. Del. Feb. 20, 2015)

On February 20, 2015, the Honorable Kevin Gross granted relief from the automatic stay so that Donald and Ivanka Trump (the “Trumps”) may continue their action against Trump Entertainment Resorts, Inc. and certain affiliated debtors (the “Debtors”) seeking to terminate a trademark license agreement (the “Trademark License Agreement”) and remove, among other things, the “Trump” name from the Debtors’ buildings.  Following Third Circuit precedent, Judge Gross ruled that under the “hypothetical test” the Trademark License Agreement could not be assumed or assigned by the Debtors under Bankruptcy Code section 365(c)(1), and therefore, “cause” existed under section 362(d)(1) to grant stay relief. Read More ›

Coal Supply Agreement Held Executory; Pre-petition Payments Thereunder Not Recoverable As Preferences

Pirinate Consulting Group, LLC v. Avoca Bement Corp. (In re Newpage Corp.), Adv. No. 13-52196 (KG), 2014 WL 4948215 (Bankr. D. Del. Oct. 1, 2014)

In this short Memorandum Opinion, Judge Gross was called upon to determine the executory nature of a pre-petition coal supply agreement (the “Coal Supply Agreement”) in order to decide whether certain pre-petition payments to the non-debtor contract counterparty were preferential.  In rendering its decision, the Court relied heavily upon the principles set forth by the Third Circuit in Sharon Steel Corp. v. Nat’l Fuel Gas Distrib. Corp., 872 F.2d 36, 39-40 (3d Cir. 1989) and by fellow Delaware Bankruptcy Court Judge Sontchi in In re Carolina Fluid Handling Intermediate Holding Corp., 467 B.R. 743, 754 (Bankr. D. Del. 2012).  In both of these cases, the courts determined that the supply agreements at issue were executory contracts because their terms evinced “ongoing, reciprocal obligations for supply and purchase.”

 
Read More ›

State Law Enforceability of Post-Confirmation Settlement Agreement Not Dispositive; Bankruptcy Court Considers Bankruptcy Rule 9019 Standard

In re Filene’s Basement, LLC, No. 11-13511 (KJC), 2014 WL 1713416 (Bankr. D. Del. Apr. 29, 2014)

On April 29, 2014, the Honorable Kevin J. Carey issued another Memorandum in connection with the on-going disputes in the bankruptcy proceedings of reorganized Filene’s Basement, LLC and its affiliated reorganized debtors regarding a lease of non-residential real property located in Secaucus, New Jersey. Unlike Judge Carey’s prior decisions that determined a claim to percentage rent under the lease (an analysis of which may be found here), the issues presented to His Honor in this most recent dispute included the question of whether a settlement agreement presented by the reorganized debtors for court approval under Bankruptcy Rule 9019 but later withdrawn in the face of a higher and better offer could be enforced by the jilted counterparty. Read More ›

Bankruptcy Court Determines Multiple Agreements are Not Integrated; Allows Debtor-Licensee to Assume License Agreement Over Objection of Licensor

In re Physiotherapy Holdings, Inc., No. 13-12965 (KG), 2014 WL 1053117 (Bankr. D. Del. March 19, 2014)

When faced with the question of whether a debtor-licensee was entitled to assume a software license agreement (the “License Agreement”) while rejecting five other agreements with the licensor, the Honorable Kevin Gross held in the affirmative, relying upon the express language of the various agreements and the necessity of the License Agreement to the debtors’ ability to successfully reorganize. Read More ›