Dec 23 W.R. Grace & Co said it has
settled the only remaining appeal for its Chapter 11 plan with a
group of bank lenders, paving the way for the U.S. chemicals
maker to emerge out of bankruptcy protection after 12 years.
The company reached a settlement with holders of
pre-petition bank debt, who have been demanding a higher
interest rate on their loans, according to a court filing on
Grace will pay the lender group $1.1 billion, comprising
$971 million of principal and undisputed interest through Dec.
31 and $129 million in settlement, removing the last remaining
obstacle to its emergence out of bankruptcy protection.
Grace filed for Chapter 11 protection in 2001, making it one
of the longest bankruptcies in the history of the United States,
after an asbestos leak at one of its mines led to a slew of
Through bankruptcy, Grace was able to pause debt repayments,
survive two recessions and take advantage of a U.S. shale energy
revolution that is fueling demand for its fine-powder catalysts,
which help refiners process crude oil into gasoline, heating oil
and other products.
John Bader, chairman of Halcyon Asset Management, the single
largest owner of W.R. Grace bank debt, said that the hedge fund
is pleased with the settlement.
"We recognize that the ability of W.R. Grace to emerge from
bankruptcy benefits everyone with a stake in the company's
future," Bader said in a statement to Reuters.
The case is W.R. Grace & Co, et al, Case No. 01-01139, U.S.
Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware.