• Crystal Cathedral Interested in New Bidders for Church Property through Bankruptcy Auction

    The famous Crystal Cathedral church filed for bankruptcy in October 2010, listing more than $50 million in debt as the main reason for filing. Greenlaw Partners of Orange County placed an offer for the property in May 2011, but the church is now asking the court to allow partial withdrawal from a plan made with Greenlaw.

    In the May filing, an exit plan was filed with Greenlaw purchasing the Crystal Cathedral property for $46 million, leasing the church and various buildings back to the ministry and constructing apartments on areas of the property.

    Two potential buyers have expressed interest in the land, both with different ideas for use. A plan filed by the church’s unsecured creditors allows Chapman University to purchase the 40-acre campus for $46 million and lease back essential buildings to the church for less money than Greenlaw proposed.

    The other interested entity, the Roman Catholic Diocese or Orange states that it hopes the property remains a place of worship. The diocese does not have a central location of worship for the 1.2 million Catholics living in Orange County.

    Recent filings related to the bankruptcy address objections to the church’s exit plan. Objections have been filed by the U.S. Trustee, a family who paid for a group plot in the church’s cemetery, and attorneys for church founder Robert H. Schuller.

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy attorney

  • Joint Venture of Microsoft and Apple Win 6,000 Nortel Patents in Bankruptcy Auction

    A joint venture of Apple and Microsoft, called Rockstar Bidco LP, won permission from bankruptcy court to purchase the patent portfolio of Nortel Networks Corp. for $4.5 billion, outbidding Google in the biggest patent auction in history.

    In a joint hearing on June 11, 2011, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross in Delaware and Ontario Superior Court Judge Geoffrey Morawetz in Toronto approved the portfolio sale. Over 6,000 patents and applications related to Internet and wireless technology are in the portfolio.

    Nortel started selling its businesses after it filed for bankruptcy in 2009, raising approximately $3 billion before the patent auction. The patent portfolio was Nortel’s last major asset to sell and will boost creditor recoveries.

    The winning joint venture group includes Research in Motion and Sony Corp as well as Apple and Microsoft.

    The auction had 19 rounds of bidding and opened with a bid from Intel Corp. Before the auction began, Google signed a contract to be the stalking-horse bidder with a guaranteed offer of $900 million. Intel exceeded Google’s offer, entitling the search engine company to a breakup fee of $25 million plus expenses.

    Apple initially was not part of the Rockstar group, but joined after five rounds of bidding. Intel dropped out, only to join with Google and stayed in the auction up to the 19 th round of bidding when they lost out to Rockstar Bidco.

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy lawyer