Bunkerworld: US OW entities reach deals with creditors
Chief US Bankruptcy Judge has approved several OW-US dealsUnni Einemo, Bunkerworld, 20th November 2015
Several US-based companies have reached settlements with the US subsidiaries of bankrupt Danish bunkering giant OW Bunker and look set to get paid in January next year, Platts Bunkerworld has learned.
Chief US Bankruptcy Judge for Connecticut Julie Manning has approved a deal between the three OW units (which filed for bankruptcy in the US separately from the Danish parent firm) and Nustar, Mieco, Valero Marketing & Supply, Shell, Custom Fuel Services, Phillips 66, Martin Energy Services and Pacrim Petroleum.
The agreement helps pave the way for a vote scheduled to conclude at the start of December for a liquidation plan of the three entities.
Nustar was the biggest unsecured creditor of OW’s US subsidiaries; OW Bunker Holding North America, OW Bunker USAand OW Bunker North America.
The deal “allows” claims by NuStar Energy Services of $15.9 million, plus a $3.63 million claim by affiliate NuStar Supply and Trading, and a $2.46 million claim by NuStar Terminals Marine Services. The Bankruptcy Court approved allowances of a similar nature to Mieco, Valero Marketing & Supply, Shell, Custom Fuel Services, Phillips 66, Martin Energy Services and Pacrim Petroleum.
The settlements approved provides that the levels of “allowed” claims will determine the portion of the eventual liquidation payout, a lawyer dealing two OW creditors told Platts Bunkerworld.
Stephen Simms, of the admiralty and maritime litigation firm Simms Showers, LLP, representing O’Rourke Marine Services and Pacrim, said parts of both O’Rourke’s and NuStar’s claims were settled in January this year from the sale of fuel in the cargo tank on OW’s bunker tanker, but that further payments would await the effective date of the proposed OW US entities’ liquidation plan. The liquidation plan provides that it will be effective 30 days after the Bankruptcy Court approves it.
Simms explained that Nustar and O’Rourke had agreed to hold back on administrative claims against OW–US, the trading arm of OW’s US operations, until after the effective date of the liquidation plan. “Assets are available from OW North America” (the physical supply arm of the OW US operations) to settle the claims against OW North America, Simms said. Administrative claims against OW-US, however, presently exceed OW-US assets.
Tradewinds has reported that the assets to be distributed to claimants are estimated at $17 million and will be split up at various priority levels, whereas claims totaled $775 million.
Simms said his clients stood to get their administrative claims against OW-North America settled “almost in full”.