Oct 7 (Reuters) - A U.S. bankruptcy court judge has ruled that Energizer Holdings Inc (ENR.N) was qualified to bid for American Safety Razor Co and can participate at an auction on Oct. 8, court papers showed.
The ruling by Judge Mary Walrath in Delaware opens up the possibility of a bidding war between Energizer and American Safety Razor’s first-lien lenders.
American Safety Razor’s current restructuring proposal involves selling off the company to its first-lien lenders, led by UBS AG UBSN.VX, for an undisclosed amount.
Energizer offered $301 million in cash to buy American Safety Razor, Bloomberg had reported last month.
American Safety Razor had refused to recognize Energizer as a qualified bidder, arguing that it will never be able to consummate a deal.
“Based on the testimony ... I find that the determination made by the debtor (American Safety Razor) was not reasonable, was not even made in its business — in reasonable business judgement,” Judge Walrath said in her ruling.
Last month, American Safety Razor called Energizer a “frustrated bidder” after Energizer, which owns Schick razors, said it was keen on buying American Safety Razor.
Privately held American Safety Razor filed for bankruptcy in July. It was hit hard after losing a contract from Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) in 2009.
In addition to razor brands such as Matrix3, M5Magnum, Solara and Mystique, American Safety Razor makes single-edged blades used in utility knives and surgical tools.
Its shaving razors are typically sold in drug stores such as Walgreen Co WAG.N under the store’s own brand.
The case is In re: American Safety Razor Co LLC, US Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware, No. 10-12351. (Reporting by Santosh Nadgir in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)