The sale of distressed businesses or business assets at auction is a regular feature of insolvency practice in commercially sophisticated jurisdictions around the world. Somewhat less common (and particular mainly to those jurisdictions with strong corporate rescue cultures) is the practice of financing the continued operations of distressed firms while those firms reorganise under court supervision. Rarer still is the notion that such financing should, like a sale, be put out for bid at the best terms.
Yet that is precisely what Canadian gold mining concern Crystallex International Corp. achieved recently in a Canadian insolvency proceeding, with concurrent recognition from the US Bankruptcy Court in Delaware in an ancillary Chapter 15 proceeding.
The Crystallex matter offers an interesting – and very creative – approach to monetising what might otherwise be a highly illiquid, speculative, and potentially inaccessible asset held by a troubled company: Significant arbitration claims.
This 2011 article is accessible here. Republished with kind permission of Chase Cambria Company (Publishing) Ltd.