Court Approves Sale of Diamond Glass to Belron US
Judge Christopher Sontchi of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware approved the sale of Diamond Glass and its assets to Belron US for more than $54 million during a hearing today in Wilmington, Del. In addition to the sale price, Belron US has agreed to assume $9 million in liabilities.
The only other bid on the table was from Newport-Levine Acquisitions, which is partially owned by Ken Levine, Diamond’s largest shareholder and former co-chairman of the company; according to Michael Richman of Foley and Lardner, counsel for Diamond, Newport-Levine Acquisitions’ bid fell $100,000 below that of Belron US. Newport-Levine is considered the back-up bidder.
“They’ll be bound to close if Belron is unable to,” Richman said, “but we have no reason to think Belron will not be able to close.”
Both bids included a deposit of $1 million.
As expected, yesterday’s auction process went throughout the day.
“The debtors spent nearly 12 hours with Belron and Newport-Levine working to clarify their bids,” Richman said. “Belron has agreed to be the highest and best bid … The sale to Belron is in the best interest of the debtors.”
After Richman’s testimony and the resolution of several prior objections in the case, the judge approved the sale.
“Based on the evidence before the court, the court will approve the sale order substantially as it is now,” said Judge Sontchi.
Bill Cogswell, president of Diamond Glass, was not in attendance at the hearing.
“Mr. Cogswell felt it was more important to be back at company headquarters to talk with employees, and we agree,” Richman said.
The closing date for the sale is June 30, though, because of the price of the sale, the companies may have to file under the Hart-Scott-Ruvino Act, which deals with anti-trust issues; if that happens, the close date could be extended for two weeks, but at this time company officials are uncertain whether this will be necessary.
Belron US chief executive officer Tom Feeney, along with several other Belron representatives, was in attendance at the hearing. When asked how he felt now that the bidding process is over, Feeney said, “Relaxed and anxious—the real work is ahead of us now.”
Check back later to see a video about Feeney’s plans for the future.
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