Over the past twelve months, HMB Legal Counsel (“HMB”) helped navigate a smooth landing for distressed aircraft manufacturer Thrush Aircraft, Inc. (“Debtor”), culminating in a successful sale of substantially all its assets and the subsequent confirmation of a joint plan of liquidation in August 2020.
In September 2019, HMB was appointed as counsel to the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Thrush Aircraft, Inc. (“Committee”). The Georgia-based company was the nation’s largest single-engine aircraft manufacturer but filed for bankruptcy last fall when negotiations with its largest secured creditor reached a boiling point. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Georgia ultimately approved a sale of substantially all the Debtor’s assets to its stalking horse bidder in November 2019 and then confirmed a chapter 11 joint plan of liquidation co-proposed by the Debtor and Committee (“Liquidation Plan”) in August 2020, whereby Oxford Restructuring Advisors LLC (“Oxford”) was appointed liquidating trustee to the debtor’s estate.
The Liquidation Plan received near unanimous support from all creditors and was confirmed without objection. “The smooth confirmation process exemplifies how all sides can win when we recognize our common goals and work together to achieve them. Nearly twelve months of dedicated efforts by the Committee, the Debtor and its lenders, and all their professionals, led to this mutually beneficial outcome whereby unsecured creditors should receive a distribution after litigation claims are monetized and claims reconciled. The parties and their professionals should be proud of what we achieved together, despite the differing objectives of those involved” says, Aaron Hammer, Chair of HMB’s Bankruptcy, Reorganization and Creditors’ Rights Practice. Oxford subsequently engaged HMB and Stone & Baxter, LLP as its co-counsel to administer the balance of the Debtor’s estate, prosecute litigation claims and make distributions to parties in interest as and when funds become available.
HMB also has been retained as counsel for the liquidating trustee in another significant chapter 11 bankruptcy case, In re HC Oldco, Inc. (f/k/a Arro Corp.). On September 29, 2020, Oxford was appointed to serve as liquidating trustee and has retained HMB as counsel. As trustee’s counsel, HMB will assist in prosecuting litigation claims against third parties, reconciling creditors’ claims and regularly supporting the trustee in the daily administration of the creditor trust.
Founded in 1986, Arro Corp. operated two divisions: food processing and ingredients. Arro’s food processing division was a leading food contract manufacturer, specializing in product development and packaging solutions for the bake mix, powdered beverage, ingredient and cereal, trail mix and nut categories. Its ingredients division operated a dedicated bulk ingredient blending and transfer facility, which provided large format handling and storage solutions for a wide array of food and food ingredient companies. HMB initially represented Alternative Staffing, Inc., in its capacity as co-chairman of the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Arro Corp., which helped facilitate the ultimate sale of substantially all the debtor’s assets to Mt. Franklin Foods and co-proposed an agreed plan of liquidation with the debtor to administer the balance of the debtor’s bankruptcy estate.
These two recent cases stand out as further examples of HMB’s emerging Bankruptcy, Reorganization & Creditors’ Rights Practice. “The growth of HMB’s insolvency practice is testament to its leadership in the corporate turnaround industry. Our team is deeply influential in helping our clients manage the impact of COVID-19, and we expect to continue in this direction,” said John Guzzardo, Chair of HMB's Litigation Group.
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