• Bankrupt Owner of Spiegel Brands Runs into Trouble with Bidding Procedure

    Signature Styles, owner of Spiegel Brands and other clothing companies, has run into trouble with their Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The trustee in the case told a bankruptcy judge that Signature Styles shouldn’t receive approval of its proposed bidding procedures.  Signature Styles is a division of private equity firm Patriarch Partners and was formed to purchase Spiegel Brands in 2009.

    Under the procedures, Artemiss LLC, a newly formed division of Patriarch Partners, is to become the stalking horse bidder in exchange for assumption of $30 million in debt.

    Court documents show that the official committee of unsecured creditors in the case is “gravely concerned that the sale process currently proposed by the debtors is woefully deficient, crafted solely to benefit Patriarch, provides no benefit to the debtors estates and is nothing more than half-hearted window dressing intended to cloak Patriarch’s efforts to cleanse the debtors’ balance sheet of unsecured indebtedness with the appearance of fairness and equity.”

    The committee asked the court to take an active role in the sale process by soliciting alternative sales proposals. If the court chooses a stalking horse bidder, the process moves to a 363 sale auction. Multiple parties are invited to the auction and could outbid Artemiss and buy the company.

    Artemiss wins the auction at the agreed upon price provided no other party outbids them.

    The Spiegel company originated in Chicago in 1865.

    Benjamin Brand Services  – Chicago bankruptcy attorney

  • Las Vegas’ “Original Celebrity Chef” Files for Bankruptcy Protection

    Andre Rochat, owner of Alize’ and Andre’s in Las Vegas,  filed chapter 11 bankruptcy for himself and three businesses to reorganize millions of dollars in debt.  Rochat’s restaurant-management company, Gastronomy Management Group, is the third business included in the filing.

    Rochat’s real estate holding company, A&A, filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in January 2011.

    The bankruptcy petition shows Alize at the Palms lost $93,000 in 2010, and Andre’s at the Monte Carlo lost $290,000 in the same year. Joseph Marsco, Gastronomy’s director of operations, said that they took on too much debt while the economy tanked.

    The main issue driving the bankruptcy filings are foreclosure attempts by Plaza Bank, successor to failed SouthwestUSA Bank. Records filed with the court show that Rochat has been in litigation with Plaza Bank. The bank also claims that Rochat may be liable for any deficiency balance under his personal guarantees. Rochat and the three companies listed $2.3 million in claims held by Plaza Bank in the petitions.

    Plaza Bank objected to the sale of the site of the original Andre’s restaurant, held under A&A, Inc.

    Rochat’s personal bankruptcy filing lists liabilities of $4.25 million. Most of the amount appears to stem from personal guarantees for business debt. His personal assets total $418,000 according to the filing.

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy attorney