A-Tec, Danish Banks Agreement, ShengdaTeCH: Bankruptcy


A-Tec Industries AG (ATEC)’s supervisory board has made a decision about the sale of the insolvent Austrian engineering firm, bidder Penta Investments Ltd. said yesterday, citing a statement from the company.

A-Tec also said in the statement that the company cannot provide any further details about the nature of the decisions that were made or whether the supervisory board chose the winner of the sale or postponed the procedure, Penta investment manager Jakub Korinek said in a telephone interview. The supervisory- board decision needs to be signed off by A-Tec’s insolvency administrator, he said.

Penta, based in Prague, submitted a bid to buy and restructure all of A-Tec assets in June. It was approached last week by A-Tec’s Chief Executive Officer Mirko Kovats, who asked it to bid for only the minerals and metals division, Korinek said on Aug 23. A-Tec, majority owned by Kovats, filed for insolvency on Oct. 20 last year after efforts by the Vienna- based company to refinance a bond failed. The insolvency is Austria’s third largest in postwar history.

The supervisory board favored a bid by Pakistani billionaire Alshair Fiyaz over one from Penta Investments Ltd., Format magazine reported today, without saying where it got the information.

The supervisors believe that Penta would break up the group and have “misgivings” about its funding, the Vienna-based weekly said. Fiyaz is bidding via Contor Industries, which was founded by an A-Tec adviser, Format said.

A joint bid by hedge fund Springwater Capital and Wolong Electric Group Co. was withdrawn on financing concerns, according to the report.

A-Tec’s supervisory board won’t make a decision on who to sell the insolvent Austrian engineering firm to until Sept. 2, Die Presse newspaper reported separately today, without saying where it got the information.

This means A-Tec shareholders won’t be presented with a buyer at the Aug. 31 extraordinary meeting and will need to meet again later, the Vienna-based newspaper said.

Danish Bank Default Risk Reduced After Rescue Plan, S&P Says Danish legislation aimed at spurring bank industry consolidation will reduce the risk of default after lawmakers made it easier for lenders to avoid the Nordic country’s bail-in rules, Standard & Poor’s said.

“This is creating new tools to solve problems,” Per Toernqvist, a Stockholm-based analyst at S&P, said in a phone interview. “These measures will likely lead to fewer failures.”

Lawmakers backed the country’s fourth bank bill since 2008, enabling lenders to sidestep legislation that has twice triggered senior creditor losses and left most of Denmark’s roughly 120 banks with no access to international funding markets. S&P said last month 15 more Danish banks could default, costing as much as $2.3 billion in the next three years.

Denmark’s bail-in law, effective since October, “created an incentive for good banks to wait for bad banks to fail and share the losses with senior creditors and the government,” Toernqvist said. “With this new proposal, you open the door to a much broader spectrum of solutions. It might be that you have failures but there are definitely now opportunities to find other solutions.”

Saab Auto Delays Wages as Union Weighs Bankruptcy-Push Option

Saab Automobile delayed paying wages for the third month in a row, prompting labor leaders to start a process that may lead them to seek a bankruptcy declaration against the carmaker in two weeks.

“Wages are being delayed as we’re still waiting to get new financing,” Eric Geers, a spokesman for the Trollhaettan, Sweden-based company, said by telephone yesterday. “We’re working hard to resolve it as fast as we can.”

Saab was scheduled to pay factory workers yesterday and administrative employees today. The company said on Aug. 23 that it may be forced to postpone the payments as “committed” funds from investors may not arrive in time. Saab paid salaries about a week late in June and July.

The automaker, which General Motors Co. (GM) sold last year, suspended production in late March amid a cash crunch, and the factory at Saab’s Trollhaettan, Sweden, headquarters has been quiet since early June. The Swedish government’s Debt Enforcement Agency started collection proceedings this month at the request of component suppliers with unpaid bills.

IF Metall, Saab’s biggest union with about 1,500 members at Trollhaettan, started preparing salary-payment requests for delivery to management today, Veli-Pekka Saikkala, head of wage negotiations at the labor group’s headquarters in Stockholm, said in a phone interview. If Saab doesn’t respond within seven days, the union would be able to ask a district court to declare the carmaker bankrupt, he said.

ShengdaTech CEO Ordered Not to Interfere With Internal Probe

The chief executive of ShengdaTech Inc. (SDTH), a Chinese chemical company that gained access to U.S. investors through a reverse merger, was ordered by a judge not to obstruct an internal probe.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Bruce T. Beesley in Reno, Nevada, ordered on Aug. 24 the company’s management and directors not to interfere with a special committee’s probe of fraud claims, according to court papers. The panel, comprised of independent directors on the audit committee, was formed in March after KPMG LLP reported “unexplained issues” in ShengdaTech’s books.

The committee sued Chief Executive Officer Chen Xiangzhi, the owner of about 42.2 percent of the company’s shares, and some of the company’s directors on Aug. 20. The complaint seeks to prevent Chen from regaining control of the company and quashing the investigation of its finances.

The ruling also bars the defendants from trying to change the composition of the committee, ShengdaTech said in an Aug. 24 statement


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