July 13, 2013
Kelley Drye has been retained as co-counsel to the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the maritime chapter 11 cases of TMT Procurement Corp., et al., pending in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas. TMT is a Taiwan-based global provider of sea borne transportation services. The seven-member Committee also selected Seward & Kissel LLP as co-counsel, and FTI Consulting as the Committee’s financial advisors. TMT has approximately $1.521 billion in assets and $1.460 billion in liabilities.
TMT and twenty of its affiliated debtors entered chapter 11 on June 20, 2013 under extremely challenging circumstances. TMT, through its sixteen vessel-owning entities, possesses a modern and capable fleet of vessels in the bulk, vehicle, ore and oil sectors. But TMT took delivery of many of these vessels in the midst of an utter collapse in the rate for charter hires. Following record charter rates in 2007 and 2008, charter rates in many sectors plummeted to decade-low levels as a result of the global recession, and are only now beginning to stabilize and recover. TMT’s liquidity issues were compounded when certain of its vessels were “arrested” or seized by foreign creditors as of the chapter 11 filing date in ports of call spanning the globe. Further, TMT’s numerous lenders challenge the propriety of bankruptcy filings in the United States based on subject matter jurisdiction and international comity, although Kelley Drye was instrumental in defeating the lenders’ efforts to appeal these issues to the district court and directly to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Kelley Drye and the other Committee professionals are currently working closely with TMT to normalize operations, free up arrested vessels and resume trading of the entire fleet, and explore all options to maximize value for unsecured creditors through plans of reorganization or the orderly liquidation of some or all of the vessels as going concerns.