MC Sports begins merchandise sell-off after bankruptcy

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Customers showed up at MC Sports stores across Michigan to cash in on deals offered as the company closes up shop.

A judge approved a bankruptcy plan for MC Sports on Thursday and the well-known sports retailer has begun to sell off merchandise at 68 stores in seven states.

The plan is to sell off all of the merchandise by the end of April or early May.

Bankruptcy Court Approves Stone Energy’s Restructuring Plan

Stone Energy Corp.s pre-packaged restructuring plan to wipe out $1.2 billion in debt was approved this week by the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, bringing the company one step closer to being turned over to its noteholders.

Pending the consent of its creditors, Stone said it expects the restructuring plan to become effective on Feb. 28 once all conditions have been met.

Under the plan, noteholders would receive their share of $100 million in cash, $225 million of 7.5% senior second lien notes due 2022 and 95% of the common stock in the reorganized company. Lenders would receive a proportionate share of commitments under a new $200 million revolving credit facility and a cash payment, while existing stockholders would receive their share of just 5% of the common stock and rights to purchase more.

Included in the approved plan is an Appalachia sale agreement in which EQT Corp. hasagreed to pay $527 million for about 85,000 net acres in the Marcellus and Utica shales of West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Once that sale closes — which is scheduled for Feb. 27 — Stone would be left with offshore assets in the Gulf of Mexico.

Early last year, Stones credit facility wasreduced, which resulted in a borrowing base deficiency and the possibility of default. Low commodity prices in Appalachia squeezed the company as well and it began negotiating the sale of those assets before it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last December.

Christian Laettner, former Duke basketball player, faces involuntary bankruptcy

Christian Laettner, a former Duke basketball star whose venture into the business world has left a trail of debt and creditors, could be in bankruptcy court soon if he fails to come up with $14.05 million.

Five of his creditors have started involuntary bankruptcy proceedings against Laettner, a Florida resident.

The action comes five months after Phase II of the West Village mixed-use project in downtown Durham sold for $187 million. One of the businesses that received $28.3 million in proceeds from the sale, Fuller Street Development, lists Laettner as a partner, court records show, though it is unclear how much, if any, Laettner personally received from the deal.

Through the bankruptcy filing delivered to one of Laettner’s lawyers last week, the creditors hope to recoup millions in unpaid debt.

The creditors and the amounts they say they are owed are:

?National Servicing amp; Administration, a limited liability corporation based in Minnesota, where Laettner played for the Timberwolves in the NBA: $7,321,230

?Ernest Sims, III, a former Detroit Lions linebacker: $1,482,730

?Jonathan C. Stewart, a Carolina Panthers running back: $3,629,230

?Park Lane, a sports investment firm started by Andrew Kline, who played for the St. Louis Rams.: $236,193; and

?Damp;F DCU LLC: $1,382,545

“We are optimistic that the funds from the sale of the West Village can be used to reach a global resolution with all of Christian’s creditors,” said Hassan Zavareei, a Washington-based lawyer representing Laettner. “As such, the negotiations are ongoing.”

West Village, set amid the new restaurants, homes and shops revitalizing Durham’s downtown, includes 609 apartments and 104,000 square feet of commercial space. The three-phase project was developed by a partnership that was led by Laettner, his former Duke teammate Brian Davis, and Tom Niemann, a Duke business school graduate.

Laettner, 46, earned a total of $61 million as an NBA player, Nonetheless, he has been mired in financial problems related to subsequent real estate projects, including the ambitious West Village.

In 2012, he was sued for $30 million by former Chicago Bulls stalwart Scottie Pippen and others. Shawne Merriman, a former San Diego Charger and Buffalo Bill, also has had to go to court to pursue money he loaned Laettner.

In an unusual twist, Laettner also sued his own real estate company, Blue Devil Ventures, for $10 million.

Laettner has gone before federal judges numerous times asking for extensions and reprieves to settle his debts for real estate projects in Durham, Baltimore and elsewhere.

In April 2015, Laettner was served foreclosure papers on the $3.65 million mansion he owned on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean in Florida.

After 2012 bankruptcy, a sweet comeback for Hostess

How much is a snack-cake maker worth? If its Hostess Brands, which nearly went out of business just four years ago, that would be about $2.3 billion, according to the terms of a takeover deal announced on Tuesday. And it seems the maker of Twinkies, Ho-Hos and Ding Dongs is in far better financial shape ahead of its coming initial public offering than many investors might assume.

Under the deal with Gores Holdings (GRSH), the special-purposed acquisition company established by private equity firm Gores Group will invest $375 million in cash it raised from an IPO in August 2015. Once the deal closes, now set for later this year, Gores Holdings name will change to Hostess Brands, and its stock will trade under a new ticker symbol.

Gores Group CEO Alec Gores and other Gores affiliates, along with Hostess owner C. Dean Metropoulos, will invest an additional $350 million in the deal. Once the transaction is completed, private equity giant Apollo Global Management (APO) and Metropoulos and his family will hold approximately 42 percent of Gores Holdings. Metropoulos will remain Hostess executive chairman and William Toler will continue as chief executive.

Hulk Hogan Objects to Gawker CEO Denton’s Bankruptcy Shield

Hulk Hogan, stymied by the bankruptcy filing of Gawker Media in the midst of a legal battle over a sex tape, is fighting back using the tools of Chapter 11 law.

Hogan, unable to collect a $140 million jury verdict against the media- and celebrity-focused site because of the bankruptcy petition it filed June 10, said in court papers filed Tuesday that the company is improperly trying to protect its chief executive and founder, Nick Denton, who is liable for part of the judgment. He also claims Gawker or an affiliate made a $200,000 loan to Dentonin the week leading up to the bankruptcy.

Gawker’s strategy is to sell itself in a court-supervised auction while it pursues an appeal of the judgment, which Hogan won in a lawsuit over the posting of a tape of him having sex with a friend’s wife. If Gawker loses, sale proceeds would go to pay the claims of creditors including Hogan, a professional wrestler and entertainer whose real name is Terry Bollea.

Veteran Law Firm Bankruptcy Advisor Dies at 85

Arthur Olick, a bankruptcy lawyer who advised other fellow lawyers throughout the dissolution of Finley Kumble and other failed firms, has died at 85.

He passed away on July 2 in Bethesda, Maryland from multiple sclerosis, according to a death notice listed by his family.

Olick worked with the law firm of Anderson Kill for most of his career. He joined the firm in 1974 and retired in 2010, the firm said.

In coverage of the Finley Kumble demise in 1988, Olick told the New York Times: Finley Kumble, like Humpty Dumpty, had a great fall, and the egg is splattered all over the ground Hopefully we can put it all back together again, at least to give it a decent funeral.

At the time, Olick represented a handful of Finley Kumbles 250 former partners who faced a $85 million tab owed to banks in the wake of the law firms demise, according to the Times.

Based in New York, Olick was a longtime chair of Anderson Kills bankruptcy and restructuring group, the firm said. He also advised clients throughout other law firm dissolutions, including Mudge Rose Guthrie Alexander amp; Ferdon, Shea amp; Gould and Lord Day amp; Lord.

He was a lawyers lawyer, said Mark Silverschotz, current co-chair of Anderson Kills bankruptcy and restructuring group who worked with Olick on the Finley Kumble case. He was the guy others would call when they had a problem to solve and needed someone brilliant and relentless.

Silverschotz said the Finley Kumble case created a template for the representation of partners in future law firm bankruptcies.

That case was a harbinger of many other cases to follow, said Silverschotz, who said he and Olick represented a group of 15 non-management committee partners including former New York governor Hugh Carey.

Outside of the law firm bankruptcy practice, Olick was well-known in the legal community for his work in the formation of a number of asbestos bankruptcy trusts. And in various commercial matters, some of his clients included Zsa Zsa Gabor, Don McLean and Meatloaf.

Services will be held Thursday at 11 am at Riverside Chapel in Manhattan. Family will be receiving at the Yale Club at 50 Vanderbilt Avenue on Thursday from 5 to 8 pm Donations may be made to Arthurs name to the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Click here to read his death notice in the Times.